Plant a Tree: It Can Be a Spiritual Event

On Tu B'Shevat--Jewish Arbor Day--use this ritual to celebrate and sanctify our natural world


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All: Today we have gathered to plant a tree.

Reader 6: Each tree absorbs a bit of our pollution, and then transforms it into oxygen, a source of life. Each tree is truly a "tree of life."

All: We plant in order to mend, to heal, to fix. We plant for the sake of Tikkun Olam, the repair of God's order, of God's universe, our home.

Reader 7: And each planting is a reminder of our responsibility. We did not make this world; we are its product and not its producers. But it is ours to enjoy, to explore, and most of all, to protect. We protect it by planting and by remembering and by connecting, from generation to generation.

All: We plant in order to remember, in order to remind, in order to keep and connect with God's Creation, our home.

Leader: Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai said, "If you are in the midst of planting a tree and word reaches you that the Messiah has arrived, do not interrupt your work; first finish your planting and only then go out to welcome the Messiah." (From Avot de-Rabbi Nathan)

All: It is our prayer, in the words of Jeremiah and the Psalmists, that this tree shall continue to flourish. May its foliage be luxuriant, and may all that it does prosper.

Praised are You, Eternal our God, Ruler of the Universe, Who makes the works of creation.

In Hebrew: Baruch Atah Ha-Shem, Elokeinu Melech ha'olam, oseh ma'aseh v'reshit.


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