Yesterday, on the day of Tu B’Shvat, one could already find first blossoms on the almond trees. Tu B’Shvat, the 15th of the Hebrew month “Shvat”, is also called the “New Year of the Trees” and marks the beginning of the agricultural cycle in Israel. Traditionally, trees are planted on this day.
The new year of trees appears in the Jewish law: The so called “Orla rule”, from Leviticus 19:23, says, that in the first three years of a tree its fruits are not to be eaten. The fruits of the fourth year are holy and to be given as an offering in Jerusalem. Only after this, from the fifth year on, its fruits can be eaten.
The date of Tu B’Shvat determines, what year a tree is in.