In honor of the Tu B’Shvat holiday, which marks the “New Year for Trees,” the Israeli army purchased 10 tons of nuts and dried fruits to distribute to soldiers across the country.
The Purchasing Manager of the Minister of Defense and the Food Center of the Technology and Logistics Division acquired 500 kilograms of almonds (1,100 pounds), 1 ton of peanuts, 2.2 tons of raisins, 500 kilograms of walnuts, 1,500 kilograms of dried apricots (3,300 pounds), 500 kilograms of dried cranberries and 1,000 (2,200 pounds) kilograms of banana chips.
In the time of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, farmers measured the age of trees according to the number of times Tu B’Shvat passed, and thereby determine when a tree was old enough to harvest and use for tithes to the Temple according to Jewish law.
The practice of celebrating Tu B’Shvat and the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel began in the third century, when Kabbalists started conducting feasts centered on fruits grown in Israel, particularly the Seven Species that are noted in the Torah.
On Sunday, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel urged Israeli consumers to begin buying fresh fruits grown in Israel for their Tu B’Shvat celebrations, noting that dried fruits became traditional only due to the difficulty in successfully transporting fresh produce from Israel to places around the world.
“Farmers are today’s pioneers, and Israel’s agricultural produce is among the best in the world,” Ariel said.
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“…for the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land… a land of wheat and barley, vines, figs and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey”