Shabbes is always special. This week, it’s extra special, as Tu B’Shevat, the new year of trees, falls on the same day. Normally, we mark the day by planting trees, but as it falls on shabbes, we can’t this year. Instead, we will be eating different fruits to celebrate. As the holiday falls on the 15th Shevat, many have the custom of eating fifteen different fruits. Some also eat the seven species of Israel. Even if you don’t do this, it’s a wonderful mitzvah to eat a fruit which you haven’t eaten this year, so that you can say the Shehecheyanu brocha! No matter how you choose to celebrate, spend some time thinking about the nature of this special day. The trees are just a part of the scenery to us, but on their new year, we should remember just how crucial they are. Truly, they are a massive gift from Hashem. We partake in their fruits and use their produce on a daily basis, rarely stopping to thank our Creator for them. Tonight, lets change that, by delighting in the gift He has given us!
On that note, I’d like to wish everyone a wonderful Shabbes and Tu B’Shevat. In London, Shabbes candles should be lit at 4:49 PM tonight, and Shabbes ends tomorrow night at 6:00 PM exactly. When lighting your candles, please remember Chaim Elozor ben Baila, Yisroel ben Esther HaCohen and Boruch ben Soroh Gittel for a refuah shleimah. Gut Shabbes!