As you and your child plant parsley seeds sent by PJ Library, Make It Grow! will help your child understand the steps needed to make parsley grow, and then transfer that knowledge to the growing of fruit trees. That’s a great way to celebrate Tu Bishvat, Judaism’s New Year of the Trees!
Trees and the environment hold an honored place in Jewish tradition. In one ancient text we discover: “If you are holding a sapling in your hand, and someone says that the Messiah has arrived, first plant the sapling, and then go and greet the Messiah.”
On the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat (“Tu” signifies 15), which falls sometime in January or February and is the time when almond trees are beginning to flower in Israel, we celebrate the annual holiday of the trees. It’s customary to eat fruits, especially ones that grow on trees in Israel, such as figs, dates, olives, and carobs. In Israel, and in warmer climates in North America, it’s also customary for children to plant saplings.
The classic Hebrew song for Tu Bishvat, whose chorus you can hear on this app, says:
The almond tree is blooming
The golden sun is beaming
From each rooftop birds announce the arrival of the holiday
(Chorus) Tu Bishvat is coming, the holiday of trees! Tu Bishvat is coming, the holiday of trees!
Through planting seeds and saplings, and learning about the importance of trees, our children will begin to appreciate the gifts of nature and our shared responsibility to care for the planet.
Growing parsley – especially in places where it’s too cold in January and February to plant saplings – offers an added bonus. Pick the parsley when it’s fully grown, and store it for use on Passover. What more special way to connect our children to the symbols of the Passover table than to dip parsley that we’ve grown ourselves!
So from all of us at PJ Library, Tu Bishvat same’ach – A happy Tu Bishvat!
For more content on Tu Bishvat, check our blog – http://pjfor.me/blog
To post your parsley-growing photos online, go to: https://www.facebook.com/PJLibrary