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Tu B’shvat: A Person is Like a Tree in the Field

With Tu B’shvat (the Jewish Holy Day of Trees) coming up, I have been exploring the relationship between nature, trees, humanity and Judaism. I came across this quote from Rabbi Yisrael of Chortkov (in Ginzei Yisrael), who teaches hope in the face of dispair:

There is a lesson hinted at by Tu BeShvat, for “a person is like a tree of the field.” When the wheel of fortune has turned for someone and they are down, when they see no way to keep their head above water; they have lost all hope and are despairing – then they should ponder a tree in winter. Its leaves have fallen, its moisture has dried up, it is almost a dead stump in the ground. Then suddenly, it begins to revive and to draw moisture from the earth. Slowly it blossoms, then brings forth fruits. People should learn from this not to despair, but to take hope and have courage, for they too are like a tree.”

As Quoted in Yitzhak Buxbaum, A Person is Like a Tree: A Sourcebook for Tu BeShvat

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