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Jewish Holidays

Tu B’Shvat: The Tree as a Metaphor for Reality

January 26, 2018, by

Why is there a new year for trees? What is the connection between the word עץ (tree) and עצה (advice)? The connection to the 2 trees in Gan Eden – the עץ הדעת טוב ורע and the עץ החיים. Delivered 1/25/18 at the Young Israel of Long Beach L’ilui Nishmas Dovid ben Reuven Michoel z”l

Of God and Goats: Tales of Faith and Farming

January 18, 2018, by

How farming and spirituality go hand in hand. Miriam Shechter, a Chabad farmer from Moshav Sdei Trumot shares how working the land made her realize how much we all really depend on God on a daily basis. Recorded at OU Israel’s L’Ayla Rosh Chodesh Women’s Event

As Stands the Tree, So Stands the Man Singular and Strong

February 6, 2017, by

Rav Gustman tended a small garden outside his office at the Netzach Yisrael Yeshiva in Jerusalem each and every day.  Even while his students were in the Beit Midrash studying, this great gaon, remained outside, tending his garden!  His students presumed his behavior was a demonstration of chibat ha-aretz, his love for Eretz Yisrael.  In […]

Feeling Taste During the Process

January 30, 2017, by

Why is Tu B’Shevat the new year for trees, not for the fruit itself? A tree is the most efficient “machine” – it yields virtually no waste; it is also one unifying entity. The difference between an eitzah (advice) and a teshuvah (answer).

5 Things You May Not Have Known About Tu B’Shevat

February 4, 2015, by

You know that guy you saw on the way to work shouting “Happy New Year!” to a tree? He wasn’t crazy. Well, he might have been, but not for being kind to an oak or maple. It might just be the 15th day of the month of Shevat on the Jewish calendar—better known as Tu […]

Tu B’Shvat: To Speak For the Trees

February 3, 2015, by

I am the Lorax; I speak for the trees … – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax The noted children’s author, Dr. Seuss, understood well the importance of trees. Without them, the landscape would be ever less joyful, the paths we walk would be ever so much more bleak, and, ultimately, the lives we lead would be […]

Man and (Not “In”) the Tree

February 13, 2014, by

In Bereshit The Chumash does not explicitly address the Darwinian conception of the relationship between Man and the Trees, in terms of an ancient ancestor of Man living in them. However, the Book of Bereshit and the rest of the Five Books do contain material suggesting a profound relationship between the Human Being and the […]