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Tu BiShevat

Updated: Jan 24

The Daily Halacha Moment - Tu BiShevat 🌴 🍇

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)



Question:

What exactly is Tu BiShevat?


Answer:

Tu BiShevat, which is the fifteenth day of the month of Shevat, is widely celebrated as the Rosh HaShanah for the trees. [1]

Tachanun is not recited on Tu BiShevat as well as the mincha preceding Tu BiShevat. [2]


The Custom of Eating Fruits:

It is customary to place many different types of fruits on the table, especially the seven species of Eretz Yisrael, and recite berachot when eating them. [3] Some people have the custom to eat etrog jelly on Tu BiShevat. However, a SheHecheyanu should not be recited when eating it since one already recited a SheHecheyanu on the etrog during Sukkot. [4]

Even though eating fruits on Tu BiShevat is a praiseworthy custom, one must be cautious to not buy fruits or dried fruit that have issues with insects. Surely, there is no justification to eat a fruit that has even a possibility of having an insect inside in order to fulfill this custom. Therefore, one should check with a local kashrut agency to be informed which fruits are infested or very difficult to clean refrain from eating them. [5]


Many people have the custom to read specific paragraphs from Tanach, Mishnah, Gemara, Midrash, and Zohar that are relevant to trees and Tu BiShevat. This tikkun is brought in Sefer Pri Etz Haddar. [6] One should also try to learn some of the halachot of orlah, terumot, and maaserot. [7]


Adapted From R' Nacsons "Laws Of The Holidays" with some additions.

Sources:

[1]. See Mishnah in Rosh HaShanah 2a. See also Shulchan Aruch, Y.D. 331:57 & 125.

[2]. Shulchan Aruch, O.C. 131:6.

Regarding the Mincha preceding Tu BiShevat see Levush 131:6; Mishnah Berurah 131:32; Aruch HaShulchan 131:12; Chazon Ovadia, Tu BiShevat, p. 4, 2.

[3]. See Pri Chadash 131:6, which cites Tikkun Yissachar, which states that the Ashkenazic custom is to do so. This is also brought in Magen Avraham 131:16; Eliyah Rabbah 131:14; and Mishnah Berurah_131:31. _Kaf HaChaim 131:97 says that this has also become the custom for Sepharadim. See also Chazon Ovadia, Tu BiShevat, p. 4 & p. 274, footnote 1.

[4]. See Mishnah Berurah, 225:16, which states that a SheHecheyanu is not recited for a whole year because the etrog is found on the tree all year around. See also Ben Ish Chai, Re’eh 1:11; Kaf HaChaim 664:60; Yabia Omer, vol. 4, O.C. §50; and Yalkut Yosef, Moadim, p. 250.

[5]. Pri Chadash Y.D. 84:22.

[6]. See Moed LeChol Chai 30:7–8 and Kaf HaChaim 131:97.

[7]. Yalkut Yosef, Moadim, p. 248.


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