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Connect, Grow, Share

Thursday, 24 January, 2013 - 8:04 am


Dear Rabbi,

I am offended! I saw your email about tu B’shevat and read a bit about it. What’s this that it says in Deut. 20;19  “for the man is the tree of the field”? I am not a tree, I am a person – not an animal, and definitely not a tree.


Mr. Hu Man


Dear Hu,

You are right! This Shabbat will be Tu b’Shvat, the 15th day of Shvat, the New Year for trees. This holiday is not only for trees, or a botanist’s holiday, but it is a holiday for all people. Additionally, there is a Jewish tradition to eat fruits onTu b’Shvat.

While people are not trees, there are lessons that we can learn from trees about character traits that we do not have naturally.You see, the human does not always see his or her connection to G-d - his actual life force. A human stops growing in his teens and stops bearing fruit at a certain age. On the other hand, the tree is always connected through the ground to its life force, its roots. A tree grows and continues to grow during its entire life. Furthermore, a tree does not only grow but it gives fruit that can be shared and give pleasure for all of its years.

So while you may not be a tree, you should consider becoming one. How? By implementing these three characteristics: Connect, Grow, Share.

1.     Be connected to your life-force, G-dliness.

2.     Continually grow in your service of G-d.

3.     Share what has enhanced your spiritual life with others.

So now take the passion you had when you were offended and passionately share this message with someone else.

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

P.S. Will we see you at Shabbat services?

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