When thinking about Tu B’Shvat, many connect this holiday with an opportunity to revisit Judaism’s ecological message. Here is one of my favorite stories which bring home the point of the strong sense of gratitude for the natural world that Hashem gave to us to guard and to protect:
A man was traveling through the desert, hungry, thirsty and tired, when he came upon a tree bearing luscious fruit and affording plenty of shade, underneath which ran a spring of water. He ate of the fruit, drank of the water and rested beneath the shade.
When he was about to leave, he turned to the tree and said: “Tree, O tree, with
what should I bless you?
“Should I bless you that your fruit be sweet? Your fruit is already sweet.
“Should I bless you that your shade be plentiful? Your shade is plentiful.
That a spring of water should run beneath you? A spring of water runs beneath you.
“There is one thing with which I can bless you: May it be G d’s will that all the trees planted from your seeds should be like you . . .” (Talmud, Taanit 5b).
May we all have a Shabbat Shalom U’Mevorach