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A Tree's New Year Resolution

A Tree's New Year Resolution

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Tu B'Shevat -- the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shevat -- is known as the "New Year for Trees." Naturally this would be a time for trees to engage in soul-searching -- the same way people do on Rosh Hashanah. Here is a tree's New Year Checklist:

Did I shelter the seedlings that live in my shade -- so they will grow up to be a next generation like myself?

Did I grow towards the sun as a tree should, reaching up higher and higher towards that which I can never grasp, but which nurtures me all the same the more I strive towards it?

Did I make sure my roots remain firmly planted in the soil that nurtures them, and did I drop my leaves there in the fall to give back life to that which sustains me?

Did I ensure that my fruits were sweet and nourished all that came to enjoy them? Did everyone walk away from me with a smile?

Did I bend gently in the wind, accepting what G-d sends but never breaking or giving up hope?

Did I grow in strength and wisdom with each new ring this year?

Come to think of it, not a bad checklist for us humans either!

Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe a frequent contributor of articles and media to Chabad.org, is Dean of the Institute of American and Talmudic Law in New York, NY, and director of the Institute for Judaic Knowledge based in Newton, MA. Rabbi Yaffe has lectured and led seminars throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
Image by chassidic artist Shoshannah Brombacher. To view or purchase Ms. Brombacher’s art, click here.
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Discussion (10)
February 1, 2013
TREES
on Tu B'Shevat and in memory of my mother i would like to share this poem, which was her favorite that she would read to me at bedtime:

"TREES" (Poem) by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earths sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain,

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

by Joyce Kilmer
Sandra D. Greenbaum
January 26, 2013
fruit trees
I have a few acres of land. On them we have dozens of blueberries raspberries and blackberries, apple trees and pear trees and a fig tree. I love them all. Since this holiday has connected me with the inner meaning and connection to life I will have a much deeper perspective of the fruits (they and I) will produce. Thank you for this knowledge.
Catherine Cronin
new york
January 24, 2011
Trees
Beautiful. If only we would "listen" to the trees
Richard
Cape Town, South Africa
January 21, 2011
TREES
Yes, may we grow like trees, planted by the rivers of water flowing from delight in the Law of the Lord.
Anonymous
DEAL, United Kingdom
January 19, 2011
Trees
I have often thought about how a tree must stand tall, in one place and deal with whatever life brings it. It does it with beauty and grace, without self pity or complaint. Would that we humans could lives our lives with the same strength and dignity. Your list was beautiful. We could do worse than aspire to live as you suggest a tree should.
Cyndy Boelens
Dover Foxcroft, ME
January 19, 2011
Trees
As a Catholic daughter of a Jewish father, I read the Chabad newsletter regularly.
Thank you for such a beautiful article. I will pass it along to my friends of all faiths.
Eileen Sieff Stroup
Butler, PA
January 10, 2011
Trees
Thank you for such an inspirational guideline on how to solidify ourselves while improving the world around us.
Cindy Campbell
Renton, Washington
January 22, 2008
tree magnet
your list of a tree's New Year's resollutions would be a terific refrigerator magnet----no joke. It's a sweet, short, spiritual, and simple list of behaviors that we should be striving to attain on a daily basis. What better place than a refrigerator door to leave a daily reminder for everyone in the household. (e-mails and palmpilot reminders don't work on Shabbat, holidays, and for all of us who don't do so much technology stuff on a regular basis) And as we all know, a longer "to do" list isn't always as effective as a shorter one that includes only the essentials!
Malka Helllinger
North MIami Beach, florida
January 28, 2007
TREES
Being a "Tree" person, I love this. To all the trees that have nourshed me in all these ways and more, I dedicate this and will read it to the trees when one offers me shade, or fruit, or a wonderful branch to sit on and swing in the wind.... to lie on the grass and watch the bird sing its song perched from your branch. Oh what a wonderful creation you are ...
talmidah
USA
August 8, 2006
your thoughts has really inspirated and opened many doors i never new existed! your insight has definitely changed the way i perceive things.
Anonymous
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