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5 February, 2021

Festival celebrates new year, new trees

THE Yellow Arrow Track in Aeroglen is flourishing with new life thanks to the Cairns Jewish community.

Families from the Jewish community planting trees.

They carried out tree planting as part of their Tu Bishvat celebrations on Sunday January 24, with the Cairns Regional Council’s “Green Space Our Place” program.

Tu B’Shevat, the fifteenth day of Shevat on the Jewish calendar, is the day that marks the beginning of a “New Year for Trees” in the Jewish religion.

“This is the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle,” said Cairns Rabbi Ari Rubin, who participated in the tree planting.

The tree planting activity is one of Chabad North Queensland’s many holiday programs, which give people the opportunity to learn the significance of Jewish holiday rituals and perform them with their families.

Elad Adler and daughter Millie.

“The Jewish New Year for plant life reminds us that ‘Man is a tree of the field’ (Deuteronomy 20:19) and helps us reflect on the lessons we can derive from our botanical analogue,” said Rabbi Ari.

“Tu Bishevat touches all five senses: the sweet smell of the fruits, the feel of the branch and twigs in your hand, the sights and sounds of the planting around us, and the taste of the festival’s feasts.”

Israel Hajbi and daughter Arielle planting trees on Tu Bishvat.

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