Translated by Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, LCSW
Holiday of the Trees
In honor of Tu Bshvat, "Holiday of the Trees," we are sharing with you some Jewish texts about trees. The holiday this year falls on January 30th, 2010. Translations are provided by Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, LCSW.
He will be like a tree planted alongside the waters,
which gives forth its fruit in its season,
and whose leaves do not wither,
and all that it undertakes, succeeds.
The good, just person as described in Psalms 1:3
When you besiege a city... you shall not destroy its (fruit) trees;
if you eat of the, do not cut them down;
for mans life depends on the trees of the field.
Where the tree falls, there shall it be.
For lo! The winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
the flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land;
the fig tree puts forth is figs, and the vines are in blossom,
they give forth fragrance.
Shir HaShirim/Song of Songs 2:11-13
Rab Judah says:
If one goes out in the days of Nissan and sees the trees sprouting, he should say,
"Blessed be He who hath not left His world lacking in anything
and has created in it beautiful creations
and beautiful trees for the enjoyment of humankind."
Babylonian Talmud, Berakhot 43b
Trees were created for mans companionship.
Breishit/Genesis Rabbah 13:2
Meditation and prayer before God are particularly efficacious in grass fields and amid the trees, since a mans soul is thereby strengthened, as if every blade of grass and every plant united with him in prayer.
Reb Nahman of Bratslav, 1772-1811
These "Spirituality Notes" are excerpts from our monthly E-newsletter. Articles are © JBFCS Rita J. Kaplan Jewish Connections Programs and may be reprinted free of charge as long as this credit line is included.
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