“I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree.” – Joyce Kilmer

So today during Hebrew School we had our Tu B’shvat celebration.  This included the kids eating a plate of fruit and talking about fruits and the harvest but all I kept thinking about was this line from this poem.  I thought about climbing apple trees with my ex-girlfriend.  I thought about sitting under a tree in the shade.  I thought about how this line was used in the movie Superman, but the funniest was the joke about when you go to Israel and drive from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem past all the groves of tree and your guide jokes “If you look out of the right side of the bus, you’ll see your Bar Mitzvah tree!”

A practicing Jew will spend Thursday night eating fruit and mixing wine.  I will be davenning the ma’ariv service and possibly having a rehearsal for my weekly gig playing bass during Congregation Shirat Hayam of the North Shore’s “Ruach Rally.”  So long story is I won’t be doing a Tu B’shvat seder, but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating nature which is really what the mitzvah is all about.  I have three herb pots in my kitchen.  I have an apple in my lunch EVERY day.  I enjoy using fresh vegetables in my cooking.  You can celebrate Tu B’shvat every single day.  What this holiday is all about is… pausing… to acknowledge G-d’s role in creating and providing us in with nature’s bounty, but more importantly our role in fostering and caring for the Earth in order to be able to reap said bounty.

Tu B’shvat… The original Earth Day.


Until next time… Keep it real.

The Boston Mensch

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