Posted by Your Friends at Kar-Ben on 1/8/2018 to Tu B'Shevat
Tu B’Shevat, though a minor holiday about agriculture in antiquity, has significance in today’s modern world, even though celebrating it during winter in North America requires a little bit of ingenuity. Tu B’Shevat has evolved into an opportunity to celebrate a connection to Israel while promoting environmentalism. Tu B’Shevat provides a wonderful opportunity for children to learn about the importance of a healthy planet, and their roles in carrying on the legacy of a verdant world.
In Sammy Spider’s First Tu B’Shevat, the Shapiros observe the holiday by going outside and planting a tree. While it’s much too cold here in Minnesota to do the same, there are still many ways to help the planet. The same is true for plucky Sadie in the newest book in the Sadie series, Sadie's Snowy Tu B'Shevat. Stymied by how to plant a tree in winter, her grandmother offers a more accessible alternative: parsley. Many families will grow parsley so that kids can experience what it’s like to nurture a plant. The parsley could also be used on the seder plate for Passover.
Need more inspiration for the holiday? Spend the day eating fruit and enjoying environmentally friendly activities. After each meal, practice recycling and put the fruit skins in the compost bin. Conserve your electricity and water by shutting it off when it’s not needed. Go to your local botanical gardens or nature conservatory (indoors if necessary) and walk around in the greenery. Test each other to see who can memorize the most plant names.
Whatever you choose to do, take this opportunity to talk to your kids about why it’s important to take care of the planet. It’s theirs to inherit and nurture.