As we welcome the new Hebrew month of Shevat, we enter a new season of growth and creativity in our communities. The holiday of Tu B’Shevat (the 15th day of this month) celebrates the new agricultural year in Israel. Its origins are in finding a way to mark “the birthday of the trees”, allowing farmers to calculate the age of crops and fulfilling the Biblical commandments related to agricultural tithing and sacrifices.
Tu B’Shevat’s focus on the land opens up infinite opportunities for artists to connect with the ecological and natural worlds through a Jewish lens. One of the most well-known images in Jewish text and art is the “Tree of Life”. The idea of the etz chayim as an accessible source of strength and pathway to holiness is the central theme of this month’s Jewish Text Art Challenge.
Throughout this new month of Shevat, Books and Blintzes will be showcasing art that draws on the verse “עץ חיים היא למחזיקים בה” – “It is a tree of life for all who hold fast to it”. We hope that these works will inspire you to make new connections and find deeper meaning in your own art and spiritual journeys.
To submit your work to be included in the Shevat Jewish Text Art Gallery, please complete the contact form at https://booksandblintzes.com/home/jtac/