Religion & Beliefs

The Modern Jewish Atheist: I like Tu B’Shvat

Jews have been so interested in turning the Festival of Lights into the “Jewish Christmas,” so why can’t we turn Tu B’Shevat into our very own Earth Day? Read More

By / January 20, 2011


I’d take the environment (Tu B’Shvat) over presents (Hannukah), booze (Purim) and fasting (Yom Kippur). Really, you don’t have to twist my arm — I’m all for celebrating things that grow.

Sure, Tu B’Shvat is considered to be a minor holiday, but I think we should emphasize it more, maybe even make it Jewish day of green service and action. Why not try to avoid wasting any paper today? Or how about using a coffee mug instead of the double paper cups you get from your local fair trade, organic coffee shop? Take today to look at the little things you can do to help out the environment, and start putting them to use for the other 364 days of the year.  It’s really true that there is no contribution to small, and today is an opportunity to start making a positive change.

Gabe Crane at The Huffington Post said today, “What was once an accounting of tree inventory in ancient Israel may be emerging as the accounting of a movement. “What we’re seeing in the community,” Golden says, “Is just the sap beginning to run.”  And I believe this is the type of thing we should be thinking.  Take a positive Jewish holiday, and turn it into a movement.

Jews have been so interested in turning the Festival of Lights into the “Jewish Christmas,” so why can’t we turn Tu B’Shevat into our very own Earth Day?