Uri Tzvi Greenberg
Tu Bishvat in the Diaspora
Snow covers the ground to the far end of the horizon and there is frost in the windows. The wonder-blossom-fringes of frost cover the windows; how can this be explained to our sun-bathed children in the Land of Israel?
And we, Jewish children in the winter-exile – the blooming is in our bodies: It is the Land of Israel blooming in us. Our fathers serve us carobs, figs and dates for a blessing on a day of snow and frost: the fruit of the distant Land of Israel, there is a warm glow in our eyes, the taste of the Land of Israel in our palate! In the winter of a foreign land, we recite blessings over the fruits of our Land of Israel, which is ours always and forever.
But when I see the children of Israel from the Land of Israel itself, and my children among them, celebrating Tu Bishvat, without the winter snow under their feet, I know that due to the fact that our forefathers of blessed memory, and we, their children of all the Diaspora generations, held on to Tu Bishvat as one holds on to a piece of the land of Israel, and as people who drew the atmosphere of the land of Israel and the light blue color of its skies into our nostrils, with a sweet blessing of "Shehechiyanu" over carobs - dates and figs, we had the merit of Tu Bishvat in the Jewish country.