Gallery: Famous Fruit Trees of Israel

The five famous fruit trees of the Holy Land are noted along with two grains as the “Seven Species” (Shivat Haminim, (Deuteronomy 8:8). Embrace their bounty in artwork, Sukkah and home decorations, and foods for Jewish celebrations, especially Tu Bishvat (New Year of Trees). In California, my husband Avraham planted all five in our garden.

 

Proceed to Torah study about trees, or return to the Gateway of Trees.

The Tree of Life: Divine Wisdom

The Tree of Life: Divine Wisdom

Are we really exiled from the Tree of LifeWhile the book of Genesis depicts the exile from the Garden of Eden and it’s Tree of Life, elsewhere Bible declares that the Tree of Life is available to us in another form.

 

She is a tree of life to those that hold on to her, and all who support her are happy.עֵץ־חַיִּ֣ים הִ֭יא לַמַּחֲזִיקִ֣ים בָּ֑הּ וְֽתֹמְכֶ֥יהָ מְאֻשָּֽׁר

Etz Khayim Hi – It is a Tree of Life, Rabbi David Shneyer, Psalm Songs from Rock Creek

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From our Sages: The Story of Honi

From our Sages: The Story of Honi

Honi (or Choni) ha-Ma’agel (the Circle Maker) was a second century tzadik (righteous person) who was kind of a cross between Johnny Appleseed (or Carob-Seed) and Rip Van Winkle. Honi was known for his ability to pray successfully for rain in times of drought, while standing in the middle of a circle he had drawn on the ground. One of the most famous stories about Honi is found in the Bablyonian Talmud:

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Blessings for Fruits and Trees

Blessings for Fruits and Trees

Every time we eat a piece of fruit from a tree, we have an opportunity to pause and appreciate the divine force that flows through all creation and brings this delicious bounty to our lips. We can do this with a spiritual practice of saying a berachah, a blessing, before eating. (more…)

The Tree of Life in Kabbalah

The Tree of Life in Kabbalah

In Jewish mystical thought, the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life were intended to flourish together in the Garden, but human beings forsook the vital Tree of Life to pursue knowledge alone, introducing duality to the world and preventing the ideal Edenic state that will be restored only in the Messianic age.

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Hugging the Tree of Life

Hugging the Tree of Life

By the end of my first retreat at Elat Chayyim, I had internalized the paradigm of living fully in the mystic’s “Four Worlds” of body, emotions, mind, and spirit and I wanted to commune physically with a  tree. I approached a great Pine (I think a White Pine) that grew outside the dining hall, embraced the trunk–yes, I hugged a tree–and gazed upward. I will do my best to embody in words the living vision that I experienced:

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Rainforests: Lungs of Our Planet

 

The scenes in this video help me to see the rainforests as the lungs of our planet. The Rainforest Alliance is a network of people working together to preserve forests and the communities that depend on them, in 78 countries around the world. Learn how to get involved.

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Sharing Circle: Trees

Sharing Circle: Trees

Trees in Your Life

Join the virtual circle and share your  reflections.

Did (or do) have have a tree that played a big role in your life? What kind of tree, where was/is it, and what is your relationship to it?

How do you protect, enjoy, and celebrate trees?

Please share the names of organizations you support that plant trees and protect our environment. (more…)