Tu B'Shvat

The Gematria of Tu B'Shvat

by Rabbi Yehuda Samet
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
There is a custom in Eretz Yisrael to eat fifteen different types of fruits on Tu Be'Shvat. The Gematria of the word "Tu" — which is "tes" and "vav" in Hebrew — is 15, and the 15th of the month of Shvat is the date of this holiday. It is an opportunity to show our appreciation for all the varieties of fruits with which Hashem has blessed us.


  1. This is the interpretation of the Beracha:

    "Borei Nefashos Rabos Vechesronan" - He created many creatures and that which they lack-i.e., basic necessities without which man could not exist, such as bread and water;

    "Al Kol Ma She'Barasa" - In addition to all that which You created, i.e., all the varieties of foods;

    "Le'Hachayos Bahem Nefesh Kol Chai" - To give life to all living beings...

  2. In the Beracha said in the month of Nissan on blossoming fruit trees it says - "Ve’Ilanos Tovos Le’Hanos Bohem B’nei Adam" - [Hashem created] good trees to bring pleasure to people.

  3. The Mishna Berurah (225 - P 19) quotes the Yerushalmi that it is a mitzva to eat a little of each new fruit of the year in order to show appreciation for Hashem's creation.


These ideas are hinted to in the Gematria:

This is the Day to Give Thanks for All Types of Fruit of the Tree! =
Zeh Yom Lehodos Al Kol Minei Pri Haetz =
12 + 56 + 451 + 100 + 50 + 110 + 290 + 165 = 1234

The 15th Day of the Month of Shvat =
chamisha asar shvat =
353 + 570 + 311 = 1234

Tu Be'Shvat Sameach!

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