The cornerstone-laying of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem took place on Tu Bi Shvat 1918; the Technion in Haifa, on Tu Bi Shvat 1925; and the Knesset, on Tu Bi Shvat 1949.

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Fruit that ripened on a three-year-old tree before Tu Bi Shvat is considered orlah and is forbidden to eat, while fruit ripening on or after Tu Bi Shvat of the tree's third year is permitted.

In the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th years of the Shmita cycle Maaser Sheni is observed today by a ceremony redeeming tithing obligations with a coin; in the 3rd and 6th years, Maaser Ani is substituted, and no coin is needed for redeeming it.

It is forbidden to import the following items into Israel without a license issued in advance: plants, firearms, raw meat, raw materials, counterfeit currency or documents, knife or penknife not intended for professional use, etc.

It is permitted to import vehicles for personal use.

Visitors with goods for which a deposit must be paid that will be returned to them when they leave Israel must go through the red lane.

Visitors with items not appearing in the list of duty free items or in the list of taxable items must also go through the red lane and declare them.

After three exasperatingly cautious dates and a month of coy e-mail exchanges, I got tired of beating around the bush and wrote Orie, my American prospect. “I just did,” I replied, “but the book I know is in Hebrew.” Of all the social mazes an immigrant must navigate when assimilating to a new, unfamiliar culture, dating is one of the most labyrinthine.

I told him exactly what I liked about him, how much I liked it, and what I’d like to do about it — promptly, if possible. In a field so touchy, so reliant on subtle cues and signals, lacking the cultural context can be disastrous.

‎‎) is a Jewish holiday occurring on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat (in 2017, Tu Bi Shvat begins at sunset on February 10 and ends at nightfall on February 11).