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Jewish Holidays

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. This Wednesday, February 4th, is also the 15th day of the month of Shevat on the Jewish calendar—better known as […]

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 […]

Tu B’Shvat and Shabbat Shira

January 25, 2012, by

Rav Natan of Breslav writes: “Tu BiShvat is always adjacent to Shabbat Shira, and sometimes it falls on Shabbat Shira itself” (as it does about 30% of the time). Rav Natan explains this proximity in an involved Chasidic digression (Likutei Halakhot Orla 3), based on a teaching of his Rebbe, Rav Nachman of Breslav (Likutei […]

Four Rosh HaShanahs

June 29, 2006, by

Although we are all familiar with the Rosh HaShanah, the “Head of the Year,” which occurs in the Fall, there are actually four Rosh HaShanah’s which define, to an extent, the Hebrew calendar. They are as follows: 1. First of Nisan – This is the month about which Moshe was commanded in Egypt, “This month […]

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