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Rosh chodesh Shevat

Rosh Chodesh Sh'vat, begins at sundown on Friday 10th (1st of Sh'vat, 5773).
Shevat is the 11th month of the Jewish calendar. Moses began explicating the Book of Deuteronomy, his final address to the Children of Israel, on Rosh Chodesh Shevat. Shevat contains the final new year of the Jewish calendar, the New Year for Trees. The House of Shammai maintains that this New Year occurs on the first of Shevat, while the House of Hillel (which we follow) holds that it is on the 15th.
Tu B'Shevat, the Jewish New Year for Trees is on the 15th of Shevat. This holiday was significantly developed by the Kabbalists of 16th Century Safed who saw it as a way to celebrate the Kabbalistic understanding of the world, which is best symbolized by nature. To celebrate Tu B'Shevat, the kabbalists developed a Tu B'Shevat seder in which we eat many types of fruit and recognize the different kabbalistic realms through which our world exists. The holiday was further developed by the Zionist movement which saw in the New Year for Trees a natural opportunity to promote its goal of developing the Land of Israel.
Shabbat Shira, the Shabbat on which we read the Torah portion Beshalach from the Torah, which contains the Song of the Sea, always falls during the month of Shevat. This portion also contains the Song of Miriam in which Miriam leads the Israelite women in singing and dancing to celebrate their salvation at the sea. The haftarah for this portion contains the song of another woman leader - Deborah the Prophetess. Deborah's song celebrates the victory of the Israelites over the Canaanites and Sisra their general. Sisra was killed by another famed Jewish woman, Yael. 

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