Tu Bishvat, “The New Year of the Trees,” symbolizes the fruit of the spiritual work, growth. On the first stage of our spiritual path we turn the egoistic intention Lo Lishma into an altruistic intention Lishma, bestowal for the sake of bestowal. Once a person acquires the property of Bina, he becomes a “tree of the field.”
Then a person moves to the stage of receiving for the sake of bestowal, and the barren tree of the field starts bearing fruit. This is a result of a person’s work, of his degree. Now, he uses his “tree” to grow fruit, fill the souls, and he relates to them as the source of bestowal, like the Creator. This way the person becomes equal to the Creator and completes the correction.
We Kabbalists see the completion of man’s entire work in Tu Bishvat. Overall, all holidays have dual roles: They embody a certain part of our path, and at the same time they contain a certain element in them that symbolizes its completion.
Passover, the celebration of the exit from Egypt, signifies what we already see, how we abandon egoism, and why. After all, it is impossible to leave it without knowing the purpose. Shavuot, the holiday of the giving of the Torah, is also more than the acquisition of the means of correction: We know why we receive it. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is the beginning of all the changes, and the final goal is already planted in the initial plan. The Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, once again reminds us why we go through the chain of corrections. The same applies to Chanukah and Purim.
All these customs of our world symbolize the stages, milestones on the path of our spiritual correction. That is where they come from.
They do not seem to be special. On Tu Bishvat we eat fruit and sweets—what a weak hint! Purim also looks more like a children’s holiday. But in reality, these are the most important holidays, and their outcomes are the most convincing. This is because they refer to the results, the fruit of our efforts.
Purim represents the final correction, the end of the path. Then both forces, the positive and the negative, support one another and participate in attaining the final goal. Tu Bishvat also symbolizes the ripening of the fruit, and the difference between them is in the level of perception. The field tree is the vegetative level, while Purim is higher degrees.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/21/2011, “Because Man Is the Tree of the Field”