Tu B’Shvat has great significance in the agricultural laws that are relevant in the Land of Israel.
The 15th day of the month of Shvat (which falls on Feb 10, 2020) is the cut-off date in the Hebrew calendar for calculating the age of a fruit-bearing tree.
Each tree is considered to have its “birthday” on Tu B’Shvat. This means if you planted a tree a few weeks before Tu B’Shvat, it begins its second year on Tu B’Shvat; whereas a tree planted after that time does not reach its second year until the following Tu B’Shvat.
The practical relevance of this is that during a tree’s first three years, its fruits are forbidden under the biblical injunction against eating Orlah (Leviticus 19:23). Our Galilee Green Olive Oil is made from olives that are harvested from trees that are in their fourth year or older.
Many people will plant fruit-bearing trees in the weeks before Tu B’Shvat. There are a number of other customs on the actual day of Tu B’Shvat.
Most people in Israel and abroad will enjoy fruits… particularly fruits from Israel on this day and show their appreciation of this blessing from God by reciting a bracha over the fruits.
Learn more about the ABC’s of this special day here.