Hi Camp Gilgal! Happy 2018 (woohoo)! I know it’s already the end of January… but there is another New Year coming up. It’s the Jewish New Year… for trees!
At the very end of January, (the 30th and 31st) Jewish people celebrate the holiday of Tu B’Shevat. On this holiday, it is custom to eat from the Seven Species abundant in the land of Israel. The Seven Species are: wheat which represents kindness, barley which represents powerful restraint, grapes which represent beauty, figs which represent endurance, pomegranates which represent majesty and glory, olives (and olive oil) which represent foundation, and dates which represent kingdom. Some people also plant trees on this day.
On the New Year for the Trees, we get to enjoy all of these delicious foods and remember the food associated with the land of Israel! When we eat these foods, we appreciate the world around us that bears these Seven Species, and ultimately, we show gratitude to God for nourishing our bodies! Even though some of these foods don’t grow in North America (especially at this time of year), we can remember the food that is unique to the land of Israel. Our God is a good God who cares about our needs, our bodies, the food we eat, the trees around us, and everything in between.
I don’t know about you, but one thing I really love about camp is being surrounded by nature. One of my favourite activities is hiking because we get to explore the nature surrounding us at camp. It’s super amazing. I’m glad that God created such a beautiful world, filled with trees, mountains, birds and more that we get to enjoy! That’s why I thought it was cool that there is actually a Jewish holiday to celebrate trees and the fruits they bear. Praise God for all His blessings to us!
Hope you all are having a great winter – we miss you! Don’t forget at the end of next month is WWW- you can register now at this link!
To find out more about Tu B’shevat you can visit:
Love, Sneezy and Sitruce