PICTURES: Portuguese Bnei Anousim celebrate Tu B’shvat

PICTURES: Portuguese Bnei Anousim celebrate Tu B’shvat

The Jewish holiday of Tu B’shvat is known as “Rosh Hashana for the Trees.” And what says “new year” more than a resolution to start something new – which in the case of trees would be planting.

Many Jews take Tu B’shvat as an opportunity to head to the fields and plant saplings. It sends a message of solidarity to future generations (who will be the ones to enjoy the planting done today) and emphasizes the back-to-nature side of Judaism that is meant to go hand-in-hand (or shovel to earth) with Torah learning and prayer.

This year, the students of Rabbi Elisha Salas, Shavei Israel’s emissary to Portugal and Spain, adopted the Tu B’shvat tradition and planted some trees of their own, in the process defying some nasty weather which included rain, snow and cold.

Groups of Bnei Anousim met in the villages of Alicante and Belmonte, as well as the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

Rabbi Salas joined the group in Belmonte, where the celebrations started on Shabbat with a Kabbalistic Tu B’shvat “seder” featuring a variety of fruits and wines. Rabbi Salas’s students did all the cooking and set a very festive Seder table in Beit HaAnusim, Shavei Israel’s study center for in Belmonte.

We have pictures from each location.

From Belmonte

From Alicante

From Lisbon

Do you speak Spanish? There’s a version of this article on the Spanish section of our site.

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Brian Blum
brianblum@gmail.com