And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of. LEVITICUS 19:23 (The Israel Bible™)

This commandment in Leviticus 19:23 still applies in the Land of Israel today. Any fruit produced within the first three years in which a tree are planted can not be eaten. The fruits produced in the first three years of a tree’s life are small, untasty and unripe. An interesting Jewish tradition developed in the 16th century which is linked to this commandment. Traditional Jews often wait until a boy’s third birthday before giving his first haircut. This is called “Upsherin” in Yiddish or “Chalakah” in Israel. At the chalaka, the boy’s hair is cut, he is given his first pair of tzitzit [fringed four-cornered ritual garment] and yarmulke, makes a prayer and begins learning the Hebrew alphabet. In fact, it is customary to place honey on the Hebrew letters as he learns them in order to make the study of Hebrew sweet.

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