Menorah as stylized Tree (of Life?) in the floor decoration of the Kazinczy st. synagogue in Budapest
Wednesday marks Tu B’Shevat — the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shevat, which is known as “the New Year for Trees.” It is the time of year when the earliest-blooming trees in the land of Israel start to flower. It is the custom to reflect on our relationship with nature and to enjoy fruit, especially the olives, dates, grapes, figs, and pomegranates that are named in the Torah.
At JHE we are celebrating the holiday — as we did last year — with photos that show how images of fruit and trees figure in to Jewish decorative art: in synagogues, on gravestones, and as part of ritual objects.
Olives amid olive branches in the Jewish cemetery, Mondovi, Italy
Grape motifs on a Torah shield in the Jewish Museum in Budapest
A tree of life on a gravestone in Brody, Ukraine
Stained glass windows in the sanctuary, Garnethill synagogue in Glasgow, Scotland, showing pomegranate trees
Grapes and grapevines in the portal of the Altneu (Old-New) synagaogue in Prage
Gate in the Jewish cemetery in Alessandria, Italy, with pomegranate motifs
Tree and grape motifs on the portal of the synagogue in Verona, Italy
A broken Tree of Life in the Jewish cemetery, Radauti, Romania
Busk, Ukraine — a gravestone showing the candelabra as an outgrown of the Tree of Life
Wall painting of fruit (and dragons) in the Remuh synagogue, in Krakow, Poland
The Adler family tomb, as a family tree. Kozma utca cemetery, Budapest
The dome of the synagogue in Florence, Italy, framed by pomegranates — on some of the many pomegranate trees in the synagogue garden