On the 15th of Shevat, which in 2024 falls on January 24th, Tu BiShvat is celebrated, known as the New Year of Trees. This date is considered an auspicious occasion to ask Hashem for the blessing of producing sweet and good fruits in our lives. The Zohar teaches that the world is evaluated on four occasions throughout the year, and on Atzeret, the focus is on the fruits of the tree.
Tu BiShvat and the Spiritual Symbolism of Trees
This day celebrates not only physical trees but also has a deeper meaning, linked to the spiritual representation of trees.
The Zohar refers to a metaphorical tree in the heavens, known as the Tree of Life, which is associated with the Sefirot of Zeir Anpin. Trees in our material world are seen as manifestations of this spiritual tree.
From the Tree of Life to the Teachings of the Zohar: The Profound Connections Between Trees and Our Spiritual Life
In Jewish tradition, an analogy is established between the human being and the tree, as reflected in Deuteronomy 20:19, which states “The human being is the tree of the field”. This comparison suggests that, just as a tree has various parts such as roots, branches, and fruits, the human being also has several dimensions that manifest in their actions.
This idea is expanded with the teachings of the Ari, who compares the 613 precepts of the Torah, divided into 248 positive commandments and 365 prohibitions, with the organs and tendons of the human body. Thus, a correlation is established between the physical structure of the human being and the mitzvot.
The Spiritual and Physical Awakening in Tu BiShvat
Rabbis contribute to this vision, explaining that the diversity in the human body illustrates how each person is a microcosm, a miniature reflection of the entire universe, encompassing both positive and negative elements, which are reflected in our actions.
Tu BiShvat marks a turning point in the universe, signaling a change. Physically, this is manifested as many trees begin to bear fruit after this date. Esoterically, it is considered that on Tu BiShvat there is an “awakening” in the higher worlds, especially in the “Tree of Life”.
This awakening is a process of rejuvenation and renewal both in the physical and spiritual planes. By connecting with the energy of Tu BiShvat, we can facilitate the manifestation of the fruits of our labor in this physical plane.
From the perspective of Kabbalah, the “awakening” of the “Tree of Life” during Tu BiShvat in the spiritual world allows us to connect our 613 organs with this spiritual force.
How the Celebration Facilitates Healing and Connection with the Universe
This connection helps to repair and refine the different parts of our soul, aligning them with the healing vibration of the “Tree of Life”. It is held that the plant kingdom contains the answers and cures for all diseases.
On Tu B’Shvat, the energy that will sustain all the plants of the world for the year is released. Trees and plants, having no EGO, do not experience differentiation, feeling like a single interconnected organism. This implies that any plant can transmit the healing energy that our body requires.
It is not necessary to identify a specific plant, as any fruit or herb used as a vehicle can detect the part of its “universal organism” that provides the necessary healing.
Renewal Practices on Tu BiShvat
During Tu BiShvat, we are presented with the valuable opportunity to connect with the power of the “Tree of Life,” harnessing its energy to boost our personal transformation process. This day serves as an additional tool in our journey toward success in various areas of life.
Nachman of Breslov highlighted the importance of being able to forget what was learned in previous years. This ability allows us to approach familiar topics from a renewed perspective, facilitating our connection with our creative capacity. Thus, the renewal of our thinking and perception of the world is indicative of a solid connection with the “Tree of Life.”
Maintaining a flexible mind and emotions is crucial for preserving our youth and emotional strength. The more flexible we are in cognitive and emotional aspects, the longer we will prolong our youth and emotional robustness.
Renewal Practices to Achieve Youth and Emotional Strength
To effectively connect on Tu BiShvat, specific practices are suggested:
- Planting Trees: This act connects us with the vital beginning of a tree’s life. By planting a tree, we join in its growth energy, which in turn is reflected in the higher worlds.
- Eating Fruits: Fruits are the essence of trees and symbolize their interconnections with other species. By consuming them, we unite with the abundance, healing, and prosperity that the universe makes available to us on this special day of the year. This practice allows us to tangibly connect with nature and the renewing energies of the Tree of Life.