WOW! WORD OF THE WEEK Tu B’Shvat: Literally means “the fifteenth of the month of Shvat,” corresponding to February; however this year it is celebrated on January 26. The holiday does not appear in the Torah, Bible or Talmud. Because of its secular nature, the rabbis treated it as a minor holiday. It was not until the Zionist movement in the late 19th century that Tu B’Shvat was revived. It was then renovated to celebrating the planting of forests in Israel, in keeping with the efforts of Jewish pioneers to develop the land. In Israel, tree-planting remains the most prevalent observance of this holiday. In the U.S., with the rise of environmental movements, it has become known as the Jewish Earth Day. We can use Tu B’Shvat to raise our environmental consciousness; organize and educate others to support clean energy and independence; recycle and preserve our natural resources and oppose deforestation, climate change and pollution. For an excellent story about the destruction of trees, consider The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss. Have a sustainable Jewish Earth Year, Tu B’shvat!