Photo Credit: IsraelTrees.org

99% of the people reading this article may not realize the incredible importance of this year’s Tu B’Shvat. No, I’m not referring to the dried fruit or the teeth-breaking “bucksah” (I have no idea how to spell that…) The reason that THIS Tu B’Shvat is so significant is because it’s the last Tu B’Shvat before Shmittah!

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This means that the fruit-tree planting season, which starts on Tu B’Shvat and normally extends past Sukkot, has a very serious time limit for THIS year – why?? Because this Rosh Ha’Shanah begins Shmittah when farmers cannot plant or work their fields for an entire year! This means that – starting with Tu B’Shvat – all planting must be doubled! The farmers in Israel are literally working ‘round the clock to get their fields ready for the biggest fruit planting in Israel’s history! Hundreds of thousands of new fruit trees will be planted, all across Eretz Yisrael… and this enormous task must be finished before you hear the Shofar!

Am Yisrael Chai’s “Zo Artzeinu / Israel Trees” program is the leading organization in Israel – that has planted hundreds of thousands of new fruit trees since the program began. Thanks to their initiative, Jews across the globe can plant fruit trees via their website: www.IsraelTrees.org.

Major Rabbonim have endorsed the wonderful work they do, including the world’s leading posek on agricultural mitzvot, HaRav HaGaon Yosef Efrati who was the personal Shamash to Harav HaGaon Shalom Elyashiv for over a decade. When Rav Efrati met the leaders of “Zo Artzeinu / Israel Trees” he told them to publicize these words: “People around the world, who buy fruit trees for farmers to plant in Eretz Yisrael, are considered partners in all of the mitzvot including Shmittah!”

This incredible p’sak has opened the doors to millions of people all over the world to literally partner with a farmer and share in the Mitzvot! Shmittah is no longer just about “Itzik the farmer” and his “Jaffa oranges” but this very special mitzvah can be fulfilled by every Jew in Lakewood, Monsey, Golders Green and Melbourne who have a real share in the fruit tree of their choice and ALL the mitzvot observed with them such as, Orlah, Neta Ravai, Truma, Ma’asar and of course Shmittah! In the next few months 300,000 new fruit trees will be planted – from olives and avocados… to dates and oranges… and from figs and almonds… to pomegranates and grapes – and much more!

To make things even more exciting, you will see on their website – www.IsraelTrees.org – that a special donor is matching every tree planted so every tree order is actually DOUBLED! Since the farmers are doubling their planting – every order on the website will also be doubled! Plant 3 trees… and they will plant 6 – plant 10 and they will plant 20… and so on.

Thanks to Am Yisrael Chai’s “Zo Artzeinu / Israel Trees” amazing program, farmers and communities in Israel will receive the fruit trees they need and you – wherever you are right now – will share in the mitzvot, share in the brachot and share in keeping Shmittah 100%!!!

Everyone who plants a tree receives a beautiful, full color, personalized certificate! Let’s plant those trees today! Please share this article with family and friends and share the blessing.

Click here to see videos of farmers and communities and to learn more about planting www.IsraelTrees.org

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Shmuel Sackett is the founder and director of the Am Yisrael Chai Foundation.