In our secular New Year, we "start over," looking forward to fresh beginnings.
That theme also runs in the holiday of Tu b'Shvat, the "birthday of the trees" that we celebrate on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shvat, which, this year, occurs on the evening of Feb. 10.
The days are lengthening, and soon the sap will run freely in the trees again. This holiday has a deep symbolism of the returning of Spring after winter, and also a renewal of the Divine flow of the life force, or "shefa" from Heaven.
And from the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that was pleasing to the sight and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden….and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Gen 2:9
To the Kabbalists, that tree in the center of the garden of Eden was a tree "with its roots in Heaven," the emanations of God in the symbols of the Sephirot. Critical to Kabbalistic thinking is that what we do here as humans on earth can stimulate or impede the Divine flow. When we do mitzvoth, with careful awareness as to what we are doing, God rejoices--overflows, as it were, and the Divine flow runs freely.
I am working on a Tu b'Shvat seder, hoping I will have a 'beta' copy for this year. In the meantime, you might want to enhance your seder with giclee prints or fabric banners of this "Tree with its Roots in Heaven," or its companion, "The Four Worlds."
You can order "Roots in Heaven" here
You can order the "Four Worlds" (see below) here