Being the nice Jewish hippie that I am, Tu B’Shevat has always been my favorite Jewish holiday. Tu B’Shevat celebrates my favorite food group (fruit), and specifically fruit from the seven species that are indigenous to Israel. This includes olives, dates, figs, grapes, and – if you’re feeling extra boujee – chocolate bark pomegranates and carob!
As more Jews flocked to Israel, the custom of planting trees took root for Jews to literally put down roots in the soil of Israel. This act symbolized the renewal of the soil and our souls as a Jewish nation.
The tradition of planting trees in Israel became a routine for more and Jews, and now over a million of them plant trees each year on Tu B’Shevat. This tradition makes Israel the only country in the world with an almost constant net blossoming of trees. In the 1960s, when the kibbutz movement was in its golden age, fruit became both a spiritual for the Tu B’Shevat Seder as well as a symbol of springtime agriculture.
In both moshavs and kibbutzim, there were dance parties on the 15th of Shevat starting in the 1960s. Hookah and wine were always mainstays at these parties. So, with the Jewish New Year of the Trees approaching this Sunday, February 9th, I’ve compiled the top five tracks to celebrate Tu B’Shevat.
This year, let’s remember to dance, drink the fruit of the vine, enjoy the coming of springtime, and be a free spirit!
“Hana Mash Hu Al Yaman” by A-Wa
“Land of wheat and barley, grapes, and olive
Fig and pomegranate, date and home”
“Waterfalls” by TLC
“Dreams are hopeless aspirations
In hopes of comin’ true
Believe in yourself
The rest is up to me and you”
“Talk to Me Now” by Ani Defranco
“And I was blessed with a birth and a death,
And I guess I just wanted some say in between.”
“Everything is Everything” by Lauryn Hill
“After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually
Everything is everything
What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually”
“Nice for What” by Drake
“With your phone out, snappin’ like you Fabo
And you showin’ off, but it’s alright
And you showin’ off, but it’s alright (alright!)
It’s a short life, yeah”
About the Author: Michele Amira is a nice Jewish girl, DC based journalist, spoken word artist, and vegan. When not writing, she might be found Israeli dancing, listening to hip-hop, and enjoying a l’chaim (toast) with her favorite drink – margaritas on the rocks.
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