/BY EDEN FARBER/ //AJT CONTRIBUTOR// Eden Farber
Everyone has New Year’s resolutions. They can be personal, worldly, or add- ing items to a never ending bucket list. Either way, the term New Year’s resolutions refer to goals that people feel more comfortable making now that the clocks are set back, now that there is a blank slate.
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In Judaism, we have four New Years. The most famous, Rosh Hashanah, starts the calendar off in September. Then there are two very uncommon ones—the New Year for kings and for cattle, neither of which we celebrate nowadays.
The last is a holiday that passed a few weeks ago, and may or may not have been celebrated, but in my opinion is very important.
I’d like to talk about my Tu B’Shevat resolutions.
You may be thinking that Tu B’Shevat, the New Year for the trees, is old news. We did our part—eating fruit, maybe having ritual fruit seders or planting trees—and it’s time to move on. I’d beg to differ.
I believe we should take this holiday one step further. We appreciate the nature around us; we appreciate the beautiful skies and the sweet-smelling air and the green all around us.
On Tu B’Shevat, we are thankful for the world we live in, this planet and its natural beauty. We even, maybe, do our part to help plant more trees, whether in our communities or in Israel. But one day is not enough.
Let’s go green. Not all at once, or anything drastic of course, but I encourage you to pick a green resolution for this New Year, and go with it.
Perhaps it will have to do with a car—what type of emission vehicle it is, how often you drive it, if you drive it unnecessarily. More carpools or taking short walks make all the difference.
Perhaps it will have to do with clothing—where it comes from and if it’s produced ethically. Perhaps it even has to do with personal relationships with the outdoors, and going outside more.
This year, my Tu B’Shevat resolu- tion was to re-do my hair products. No more chemical filled shampoos and conditioners—I found great recipes for more natural, kinder hair products that I could make in my own kitchen.
The transition has helped me see the faults in the industry—environmental and otherwise—and given me a more natural connection to myself.
With creativity and genuine care for the world around us, we can do more than appreciate the environment in our hearts—we can appreciate it in our actions.
Atlanta’s Eden Farber, 16, was recognized in the Jewish Heritage national Poetry Contest of 2010 and has published op-eds and poetry in Modern Hippie Magazine and the NY Jewish Week’s Fresh Ink for Teens section.