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DRUIDS and JEWS – any suggestion of can i celebrate the Jewish may-day in my own special way?

the second day of the full moon started of the 5th lunar month and tu be-shvat is here
it’s a Jewish holiday in which you plant trees and eat a lot of fruits and just show love towards the Earth (usually it points out only to the land of Israel but i like to see it as the day in which you shall get closer to mother Earth in general and even thou i do live in Israel)
kind of a Jewish version of the Druidic may-day festival
but i want to find a special kind of a way that i shall celebrate it in
i want to give it a little of a pagan shade and to celebrate it with a lot of spiritual meaning
so i would be glad to receive some suggestions
i want to go now and buy some figs grapes dates olives and pomegranates
a got one more coconut left in my house so maybe i’ll eat it because of the holiday and maybe get an ananas
maybe i’ll get some flowers too
i want to get some seeds
it sound’s like i’ll be drinking a lot of herb teas this day
i want to give as a gift to our neighbor a little fruits too (since of all the trouble we did for her lol)
oh – what’s your favorite fruits? mine is dates
since according to the Hebrew and the Egyptian teachings (and most of the middle eastern ancient teachings) the day starts from the sunset
Tu be-shvat have already started so i want to spend all night not sleeping in doors
and then when the dawn comes get outside and try to get a little closer to nature maybe some tree hugging and meditation somewhere outside where there aren’t any people walking around
i read of a special kind of meditation which gets you closer to mother Earth
i would like to tell me a little about forest creatures such as elves and fairies and can i get closer to them
bu the way just wondering – will a Jew be forbidden to dance around a maypole since it’s origins are pagan?


  1. Tu B’Shvat is not the Jewish Mayday, and the observance of it is not like Mayday.
    Yes, Jews would be forbidden from dancing around a Maypole..because pagan customs and observances are forbidden to Jews in the Torah.
    Tu B’Shvat, the 15th of Shvat, begins at sundown today (Sunday, Feb 8th) this year. The following are excerpts from a booklet I wrote two years ago to help children learn about the holiday:
    The word “ Tu” is not really a word; it is the number 15 in Hebrew, as if you were to call the Fourth of July, “IVJuly”. (IV being 4 in Roman numerals) The 15th of Shevat was marked as the New Year for calculating the age of trees for tithing. Before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E., ten percent of all produce was set aside for the support of the priests of the Temple and the poor. The 15th of Shevat determines the end of the “fiscal year” for trees for the purpose of tithing it’s fruit; fruit that had flowered prior to the 15th of Shevat was taxed for tithe for the previous year, fruit that blossomed after, for the following year. In the Torah (Lev. 19:23 —25) we learn that fruit from trees that were grown in the land of Israel may not be eaten during the first three years; the fourth year’s fruit is for God and after that the fruit can be eaten. Each tree is considered to have aged one year as of Tu B’Shevat no matter when in the year it is planted.
    “For the Lord G-d shall lead you into the good land, a land of flowing water… The land of wheat and barley, the vine and fig and pomegranate, a land of the olive tree and honey”
    Deuteronomy 8, 7-8
    These seven fruits of the land of Israel are blessed in Torah: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates. It has become custom to partake of these foods to celebrate Tu B’Shevat.
    There is no mention of the day Tu B’Shevat in Torah, but here in this passage in Mishnah, the only reference to it there we see, note that it wasn’t always universally marked on the 15th by all of Israel; there had been early debate:
    And there are four New Year dates: – The first of Nissan – New Year for kings and festivals – The first of Ellul – New Year for animal tithes. Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Shimon say: the first of Tishrei. – The first of Tishrei- new year for calculation of the calendar, sabbatical years and jubilees, for planting and sowing – The first of Shvat – new year for trees, according to the school of Shamai;
    The school of Hillel say: the fifteenth of Shvat.”
    Mishna “Rosh Hashana”, Ch.1, Mishna 1
    After much debate between the two schools of thought, it is apparent that the Hillel school’s observance became the custom. The reasoning mentioned for this decision was based on the conclusion that the fifteenth of the month of Shevat is the marginal date when the rains from the previous year cease to irrigate the trees and they are benefiting from the new rains.
    The festival of Tu B’Shevat began in Israel, where its main customs and traditions developed. When Israel was conquered and the Jewish people went into exile, through observance of Tu B’Shevat they symbolically carried with them throughout their wanderings Eretz Israel itself and the memory of its fruits and trees The customs of Tu B’Shevat most visibly demonstrate the love of the land of Israel of the Jewish people.
    In addition to partaking of the fruits of the land of Israel, the Torah gave us the custom of planting trees for Tu B’Shevat to honor the land based on this passage:
    “And when you enter this land, you shall plant fruit-bearing trees…”
    Leviticus 19.23
    Other related passages from our sages teach: “The Holy One, blessed be He, occupied Himself with planting immediately after Creation of the world. For it is specifically written: “And the Lord G-d planted a garden in Eden”. So shall you also, when you enter the land of Israel, first of all occupy yourself in planting.”
    Vayikra Rabba 25
    “ If you have a sapling in your hand, ready to plant, and the Mosiach comes, plant the tree first and then go to greet him” – Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai
    Also, in ancient days, there was a custom of planting a cedar tree for a baby boy and a cypress tree for a baby girl. As the children grew, they tended the trees, and the trees grew along with the children. When they married, they often used the wood for the poles in their chuppah. This carried the tradition for loving trees from generation to generation in a concrete and loving way.
    Other customs arose much later to observe for Tu B’Shevat. The Kabbalistic sages of the 16th century living in Safed created a seder to celebrate the festival. They introduced new meanings and new rules of observance to “rejoice in the trees” based on Talmud and Kabbalah that related to trees and fruit. In some small degree, these new customs resembled the Passover seder with its four cups of wine. After special blessings and readings from the Torah, Talmud, and Zohar, there are four cups of wine to drink.After special blessings and readings from the Torah, Talmud, and Zohar, there are four cups of wine to drink. After the wine ceremony, the seder proceeds with eating of the fruits of the land, particularly the seven fruits of the land of Israel mentioned in Deuteronomy. Almonds have become a traditional food for Tu B’Shevat for in the land of Israel it is the earliest tree to blossom and often bears flowers during the time of this festival. The fruit of the carob tree (bokser) also found in Israel, is an unusual fruit that is often eaten on Tu B’Shevat.
    Tikkun Olam, correcting or perfecting the world, is also observed in the custom of planting a tree. This is a central concept in Judaism that not only promotes social justice, but environmental responsibility, and an appreciation of our place in the world as stewards of all life. Since it is customary to plant trees, Israeli school children plant trees on this day, and many Jewish children around the world collect money to send to the Jewish National Fund in Israel for this purpose. Tu B’Shevat has become a day of environmental awareness for Jewish children in Israel and in the United States, where children and families often purchase certificates for planting trees from the Jewish National Fund in honor or memory of friends and loved ones in addition to planting trees in their own communities. One may plant a tree through JNF on the Internet at http://www.jnftrees.com/.
    There is no connection to the Druidic notion of worship of tree spirits, the two observances are incompatible.
    ***Connection to nature and our place in nature in Judaism does not lend itself to worship of nature.*** It is a matter of us living our lives in harmony with the nature around us and accepting and honoring our responsibility as stewards of this earth that we believe was entrusted to humans by God, as our role to fulfill.


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