Advice from a Tree

If trees could talk, what would they teach us?  This question comes to mind as we prepare for Tu B’Shvat, the Jewish holiday known as the New Year for Trees.  At the DJC, we observe the holiday with our annual Tu B’Shvat Seder, an opportunity to celebrate trees, nature, and our connection to Life with song, a mystical ceremony, and a delicious feast.

Like a tree, the DJC continues to grow and thrive while staying grounded by our roots.  In January, we hosted our B’Nei Mitzvah Program Open House and another Ritual Leadership Training Session, further building our members’ capacity to be actively engaged in progressive Jewish life.  We continue to explore Jewish identity, ritual, history, spirituality, and community through our services, educational programs, food, and the arts.

In honour of Tu B’Shvat, we encourage you reflect on ways to both connect to your Jewish roots and sow seeds of positive change.  Perhaps you’d like to recognize a recent positive change, blessing, or milestone with a Kavod (honour) Donation, or plant a tree when the ground has thawed!

We leave you with this poem…

Advice from a Tree
by Ilan Shamir

Dear Friend,
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!

The DJC Board of Directors ~
Emma, Hilla, Josh, Elisabeth, Mara, Marlee, Michael, Mindy, Nadya, Shelley

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