Tu B'Shevat (the 15th of Shevat) - marks the beginning of a New Year for Trees.
This is the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in Eretz Yisrael emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle. Halachically, the New Year for Trees relates to the various laws of Maasrot, Orlah, Neta Riva'ei, (tithes that must be separated from produce grown in the Holy Land) and according to some, Shemittah.
We mark the day by eating fruit, particularly from the "Seven Species" that are singled out by the Torah in its praise of the bounty of the Holy Land: "...a land of wheat, barley, grape vines, fig trees, pomegranates, a land of olive trees and (date?) honey." (Deuteronomy 8:8). According to the sages, the significance of the New Year for trees to mankind is based on the following Torah verse (Deuteronomy 20:19), "Ki Ha'adam Eitz Ha'sadeh" - "Man is compared to a tree."
1492- The First Chumash with Megillot was printed.
Jan. 28, 1668- The forced races of near naked Jews through the streets of Rome during carnival time (the Palio) - first introduced by Pope Paul II in 1464 - was cancelled after the Jews of Rome agreed to pay a special tax.
Feb. 9, 1925- The Technion opened in Haifa, becoming Israel's first modern university. Albert Einstein served as president of the first Technion Society. Today, Technion graduates comprise the majority of Israeli-educated scientists and engineers, and Israel is now home to the greatest concentration of high-tech start up companies anywhere outside of the Silicon Valley.
High-tech industry accounts for more than 54% of Israel's industrial exports. In Israel, nine out of every 1,000 workers are engaged in R&D, nearly double the rate of the U.S. and Japan. More achievements: The Technion is credited with the birth of fiber-optics. In 1998, the Technion became the fifth university worldwide to successfully design, build, and launch its own satellite. In 2004, two Technion professors received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their research in the protein breakdown in cells.
Feb. 12, 1941- The Ghetto in Lodz was established by Nazi decree.
Feb. 14, 1949-The first modern session of the Knesset in Yerushalayim.