What if Every Day Were Tu Bishvat?

Rabbi Aviva Richman

One of the fun parts of being a person is that you get to celebrate your birthday—the particular day you came into the world.  This is not true for trees.  Trees have a generic “birthday”—Tu Bishvat.  A sapling becomes a year old at its first Tu Bishvat, two years old the following Tu Bishvat, etc.  Why does it even matter how old a tree is? As R. Aviva Richman explains, in the Torah, it matters a lot.