תבואו אל הארץ ונטעתם כל עץ מאכל" (ויקרא י"ט, 23)
will come to the Land
trees bearing fruit" (Lev. XIX, 23)
בשבת- ראש השנה לאילנות
- The New Year of the Trees
In a few
more days the People of Israel in the Land of Israel will physically
celebrate the Festival that extols Nature, and in particular, the
natural bounty of the Land of Israel: Tu Bishvat, the 15 day of the
month of Shvat. Thousands of people, especially young people, will
fill every possible corner of the State of Israel to continue
fulfilling God's command to plant the Land - and, by that act, to
make it ours, in a partnership between our Creator, our People and
relationship with the Promised Land is a symbol of our People's
continuity through the ages. There is a beautiful ecological passage
in our sources - MIDRASH TANCHUMA, PARASHAT KEDOSHIM - illustrating
"And you will come to the Land
plant trees bearing fruit:
Holy One, Blessed be He, said to Israel:
Even if you should find the Land of Israel filled with plenty,
shall not say: We shall rest and not plant.
you shall say: Be constant in your planting...
you found plantings by others when you entered this Land,
you too shall plant seeds for your children.
That none shall say:
am old, how many years will I still live?
am I standing and becoming tired for others?
Tomorrow, I will die!
Thus, Man shall not cease planting,
as he will find,
must plant, and plant more,
even though he be old."
message is beautifully simple: if our Communities since the
Holocaust grew and developed all over the world, if the tiny,
fledgling State of Israel became an extraordinary source of creation
and strength, it was and is because of all those Jews who had the
vision to hope for the development not only of their own generation,
but felt responsible for all the generations of our People, Jews who
worked hard to plant the trees that still nourish our bodies and
fill our souls with their sweet appeal.
Bishvat we emulate all those who plant permanent roots for the sake
of our future, taking that future into our own hands for ourselves,
for our families, for our communities and for the people of Israel
as a whole.
Tu Bishvat, let's root our souls in love, generosity and commitment
to our loved ones and our people everywhere, for a present filled
with a profusion of all manner of fruit and the promise of future
growth and development.
Tu Bishvat Sameach!
RABBI CARLOS TAPIERO
Director-General & Director of Education
Maccabi World Union