Saturday, 11 February 2017

Roots and Fruits

From last night to this evening, many Jewish families will have been celebrating Tu B'Shevat  which is the New Year Festival for Trees. No, seriously - it is! Part of the reason for having a specific date for the trees is to enable the proper calculation of due tithes. Children will make tree-themed crafts, and there will be tree-shaped loaves.
People are expected to eat lots of fruit in this 24 hour period, 
particularly from the kinds that are singled out by the Torah, in its praise of the bounty of the Holy Land: grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. 
It's considered to be a time for trees to engage in soul-searching. Not ‘New Year Resolutions’ but ‘Old Year Reflections’ – thus using wisdom learned in the past to inform future behaviour in the future. Here is the Tree's New Year Checklist:
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 autumn 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 shelter the seedlings that live in my shade - so they will grow up to be a next generation like myself?
● Did I bend gently in the wind, accepting what God sends but never breaking or giving up hope?
● Did I grow in strength and wisdom during this past year?
New Year Resolutions are quickly forgotten - but it strikes me that there is a lot of worth in Old Year Reflections.

What do you think?


  1. Old year reflections are a super idea!

  2. I agree; old year reflections are a lovely idea! And I saw a face in the 2nd picture of the trees!


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