Synagogue to Celebrate Festival of Trees

Cold Spring service set for Jan. 23

Philipstown Reform Synagogue will celebrate Tu B’shevat, or the New Year of the Trees, on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Cold Spring. The holiday has been observed by Jews with a seder meal of fruits since the 16th century. Ancient Jewish law emphasizes concern for the protection of fruit trees and specifically forbade the destruction of fruit trees during war.

The ancient agricultural holiday has at its core a belief that it is our obligation to care for the environment and our sacred responsibility to share the fruits of God’s earth with all. In modern times, the holiday has taken on added meaning as Jewish people around the world express their joy and thankfulness for trees, harvests and the natural world and recognize our responsibility for caring for the earth.

The seder for the New Year of the Trees will be led by Rabbi Helaine Ettinger. For more information, call 845-265-8011 or email [email protected]

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