Friday, January 29, 2010

Tu Bishvat

My friend Alex Sugerman-Brozan produced a lovely five-minute slide show for a seder (festive meal) this evening commemorating Tu Bishvat, an ancient Jewish holiday that marks the "New Year of the Trees" and which now serves as something of a Jewish Arbor Day for what Wikipedia calls "ecologically-minded Jews."

Once in a while I will look at a tree – just really look hard and study it, all the different structures and textures, the fractal pattern of the branches moving up and out (or sometimes down) in ever-smaller diameter branches and twigs, the individual leaves like little green solar panels, the veins in the leaves. And of course the role of trees as a seasonal calendar.

I had never heard of Tu Bishvat before, but it sounds like an excellent holiday. I don't think we have a Tree Festival or Feast Day in the Catholic Church, but I could be wrong about that.

Link to view video on YouTube: Tu Bishvat Tree Slideshow

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