The Festival of Trees

Due to various demands, I had to take an impromptu vacation from blogging. I partially wrote the following blog on Monday, January 17, 2022I apologize for the late posting, but better late than never.

Today was glorious! It was cloudy all day, but there was a lot of sunshine inside my home. Mike and I hosted a Tu Bishevat Seder on Zoom.

It was a great privilege to share the Seder with the beautiful ladies from my zoom Torah and Beginning Hebrew classes.

We truly appreciate the opportunity to celebrate the Festival of the Trees. It is almost a month into winter, and for many of us, the seasonal malaise is setting in, and our tolerance level is getting lower. Tu Bishevat is a break from all of that. It is a call for us to awaken to hope, to joy, and to productivity.

A Time to Plant

Tu Bishevat is one of the four Jewish New Year’s. It is the birthday of the trees. We celebrate this special day by eating fruits and planting trees. Some folks plant parsley which will mature in time for Passover.

A very important tradition is to plant trees in Eretz Yisrael. Even those of us who are still living outside of the Land can participate by purchasing trees to plant in Israel through the Jewish National Fund.

Since this year is a Sabbatical year, no trees will be planted in the ground. Instead, they will be kept in pots and planted next Tu Bishevat.

What Tree are You?

Each of us is like a tree. Some of us are like saplings, just getting rooted, and some of us feel old and dry. However, the beautiful words of Psalm 92:13-16 offer hope for all of us. We all have the opportunity to be fruitful and productive even in old age.

The following video is my acapella rendition of the last three verses of Psalm 92:

New Year’s Resolution

It is customary to make resolutions for the new year. Although we may not be able to plant in the ground this year due to the Sabbath, but we can purpose in our hearts to be fruitful by connecting with the Etz Chayyim – the Tree of Life – The Torah.

Her [The Torah’s] ways are pleasant ways, And all her paths are peaceful. She is a tree of life to those who grasp her, And whoever holds on to her is happy. (Proverbs 3:17-18)

Happy New Year for the trees to all. May they stand firm in the wind of adversity.

If you have any questions about how to connect with our Torah and/or Beginning Hebrew classes on zoom, please send me an email at beitsarahmanolios@gmail.com.

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