Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tu b'Shevat


Tu b'Shevat [celebrated on Monday February 9 this year] is the equivalent of January 1 in the Jewish tithing calendar for Israeli produce - it is the first day of the financial year. Therefore, tree-fruit which blossoms before Tu b'Shevat is tithed as part of one tithing cycle, and tree-fruit which blossoms after Tu b'Shevat is tithed in a different cycle.

To celebrate this day, and to express gratitude for the edible fruit of our trees, many Jews eat fruit on Tu b'Shevat.

(Mishneh Berurah 131:31)

[How do the different tithing cycles work? I'm glad you asked:
Each year's produce is tithed differently. In all non-shemitah years, 2% goes to the Kohanim and 10% to the Levites, but in certain years another 10% is brought to Yerushalayim to be eaten there, and in other years that last 10% is given to the needy.
Also: one may not tithe one year's produce using another year's produce.
Aren't you glad you asked?]

Have a great day,

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