Fruit Trees, Access, and Equity

Rabbi Aviva Richman

Tu Bishvat

In recent decades, Tu Bishvat has become a holiday for trees and to raise awareness and concern for our natural environment. This year, as we celebrate Tu Bishvat in the midst of a Shemittah year, it is a powerful opportunity to notice the ways Jewish laws on produce and agriculture come at the intersection of the natural environment and social equity. Particularly on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, this intersection is especially poignant. As we celebrate Tu Bishvat of Shemittah this year, let’s remember that we must build a world where blessings are not only shared, but shared in effective ways with those whose access may be riddled with obstacles and hazards. (5782)