Israel Forever

For the week ending 11 February 2012 / 17 Shevat 5772

Trees and Torah

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The week Jews in Israel and throughout the world marked Tu B'Shvat, the New Year of the Trees, by eating fruits that grew in Eretz Israel or are related to the land in a Torah passage describing the fruits that the land is famous for. The secular community has turned it into a sort of Arbor Day in which trees are planted in national forests.

It is interesting to note the connection between trees and the Torah portion that will be read this Shabbat in synagogues everywhere. Parshat Yitro relates the giving of the Torah to our people, and King David has already described, in the very first chapter of Tehillim, how the man "whose desire is Torah" is "like a tree planted by the parting of the waters… whose every effort meets with success."

This link between Torah and Eretz Yisrael should inspire us to plant more "Torah trees" which will bear the fruit of success for Israel forever.

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