Points of Views
From Jerusalem
Points of Views
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0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem


" 'Tree, Tree' sang the Dushinsky Chasidim before the fruits.
In the Dushinsky Hasidic [1] 'yard' [2] in Jerusalem, the Tu B'shvat [3] Tisch [4] was held with hundreds of participants in attendance. The Hasidim sang in front of the Rabbi and the fruit: 'Tree, Tree, what shall I bless you?' [5]

– B'hol

0202 Editor's Notes:
[1] The Dushinsky Hasidic group is centered in Jerusalem. They are one of the Hasidic groups that object to the State of Israel, still use Yiddish as their main language, and remain relatively secluded.
[2] A Hasidic “yard” is the term used to describe the center of a Hasidic group, both physically and figuratively.
[3] Tu B'Shvat, meaning the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shvat, marks the religious new year for trees (among other things). This has practical applications for different religious laws regarding growing and eating fruit. It is celebrated in various ways among Jews, the most common being planting trees and eating fruit from the lands of Israel.
[4 “Table,” in Yiddish. This is the term used for a festive meal that the Rabbi leads on special occasions. In this instance, the Tisch is a fruit tisch, suited to the occasion.
[5] Based on a Talmudic allegory describing how the tree has everything it needs and thus the only possible remaining blessing for it is that its offspring will be like it: “…someone was walking through a desert, hungry, tired, and thirsty and he found a tree whose fruits were sweet and whose shade was pleasant, and a stream of water flowed beneath it. He ate from the fruits of the tree, drank from the water in the stream, and sat in the shade of the tree. And when he wished to leave, he said: Tree, tree, with what shall I bless you? If I bless you with sweet fruit, your fruits are already sweet; if I bless you with pleasant shade, your shade is already pleasant; if I say that a stream of water should flow beneath you, a stream of water already flows beneath you. Rather, I will bless you as follows: May it be God’s will that all saplings which they plant from you be like you.” (Taanit tractrate, page 5b)

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