What Do Trees Pray on Tu B'Shvat?

Can you imagine celebrating Tu B’Shvat from  the standpoint of The Trees of Planet Earth?  Not eating their fruit to stir our celebration, but celebrating their own needs and desires?   The Trees need Soil, Water, Sun, Air.  – and “Quintessence,” the Fifth Reality, Love.   How do we nourish them with each of these?

We can imagine how to nourish them, and we invite you to join us to learn how, in a collaboration between COEJL --- the Conference on the Environment and Jewish Life, led by Rabbi Dan Swartz   --   and The Shalom Center, led by Rabbi Arthur Waskow.  They will be joined by Rabbi Ellen Bernstein, author of the first widely used Earth-centered Tu B’Shvat Seder, Birthday of the Trees. There will be the music of the Trees as well.

The gathering will take place on Zoom and FaceBook Live from 8:30 pm to 10 pm Eastern (5:30 to 7 pm Pacific) on Thursday, January 28 --- Yontif Sheni, “HolyDay Second” of celebrating the Tree of Life. (We thought this unprecedented celebration of the Trees themselves  should have  its own unprecedented time.) 

To register, please click to: https://theshalomcenter.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=36

This event will involve a free-will offering: Give what you feel moved to give when you register. 

You will receive the Zoom link shortly before Tu B’Shvat. 

Get ready for Tu B’Shvat with this book:

 Trees, Earth, and Torah: A Tu B'Shvat Anthology

 Edited by Ari Elon, Naomi Mara Hyman, & Arthur O. Waskow

Presents everything you want to know about this holyday: how it has changed and grown over the last 2500 years. Stories and teachings from Torah, Talmud, Hassidism,  Zionism, Eco-Judaism. Poems, songs, art, comix, adult-level and child-level Seders for Tu B’Shvat. The book is available from the Jewish Publication Society at --   https://jps.org/books/trees-earth-and-torah/

Get ready for Tu B’Shvat with this Tree:

During the day Thursday, January 28, make your way, if you safely can, to a Tree outside where there is quiet.

Come close -- "Eytz chayyim hi, l'machazikim bah: A Tree of Life she is, for those who hold her close."

Let yourself feel Tree breathing out what you need to breathe in. Feel Tree breathing out in a still small voice: YyyyHhhhWwwwHhhh.  Feel yourself breathing in: Ehyeh, "I will be."

Now listen for what Tree is praying, not only breathing. What does it need, what is it asking for? Asking you, asking World?

Say aloud, to help you remember, what Tree is praying. Say "Ameyn," out loud.

When you are ready, go back inside. Jot down Tree's prayer.

Bring your note to the Seder Thursday evening. 

We look forward to seeing you, hearing you breathe, on the Second Day of Tree's BirthDay. Remember: Register at --


Shalom, salaam, paz, peace, namaste! --  Arthur 


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