Tu B’Shvat or ‘the New Year for the Trees’ marks the season when the earliest-blooming trees in the land of Israel begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.
|SAZF Chairman Ben Levitas, Michael Morris, Cape Board Chairman Li Boiskin, Dave Marrs and Jan-Jan Joubert.
We mark the day of Tu B’Shvat by eating fruit, particularly the kinds that are singled out by the Torah in its praise of the bounty of the Holy Land: grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. On this day we remember that “man is a tree of the field” (Deuteronomy 20:19), and reflect on the lessons we can derive from our botanical analogue. The essence of Tu B’Shvat this year could not have been celebrated more appropriately than in the idyllic and beautifully-landscaped setting of Green Point Park. The weather also played its part, providing a picturesque, cloudless day while the JNF and SAZF (Cape Council) put on a fantastic show for the Herzlia Primary schools.
Proceedings commenced with an address and brief introduction on Tu B’Shvat by SAZF Chairman (Cape Council) Ben Levitas and thereafter events were officially opened by Cape Town City Councillor Beverley Schafer. She emphasised the importance of being more environmentally aware and respectful of nature.
Following this and dressed in their respective school house colours, all children were divided according to houses Maccabi, Samson and Gideon; and were joined by Herzlia High School students to participate in the various activities. This included a biodiversity guided tour of the park, a traditional Tu B’Shevat ‘seder’ and an art and crafts session.
This year’s event set the benchmark for future Tu B’Shevat celebrations and all parties involved should be commended for coordinating a hugely successful day.