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Women's Corner

Tu Bishbat: We Can’t Comprehend the Potential of Our Prayers

Rabbanith Ruth Menashe, 'a"h
Friday, January 22, 2016/Shebat 12, 5776

Let us look at one aspect of what ט"ו בשבט or אילנות (Tu Bishbat) is all about. In ארץ ישראל, the Land of Israel, it is the time when the trees start blossoming. And Tu Bishbat, which is also called ראש השנה לאילנות (Rosh Hashanah of the trees), is a day of judgement for the trees. On that day, Hashem decides what will be the future of every single tree. Just like on Rosh Hashanah Hashem decides what will be with every single human being, on the 15th of Shebat (Tu Bishbat), Hashem decides what will happen with every single tree.

Just think about it for a minute. Isn't it amazing to think that הקדוש ברוך הוא, the Holy One, blessed be He, makes a decision about the future of every single tree in the world? It is hard enough to comprehend that on Rosh Hashanah billions of human beings, Jews and non-Jews are judged, but can we comprehend "trees"?

There is a Tiqqun that we read on Tu Bishbat, with special prayers for the trees to produce a successful fruit crop. There is a special emphasis on the Ethrogh (citron). We pray that Hashem will make the Ethrogh trees very fruitful so that we will have enough for Sukkoth. Let us think about that for a minute. We, in our prayer on Tu Bishbat, can have an effect on the quality and quantity of the Ethroghs that we will have next year. What does this tell us about our Tefilloth (prayers)? It means that if we can affect the fate of an Ethrogh tree which grows, we should just imagine what an amazing power we have with our prayers, to influence our children, our family and the whole of 'Am Yisrael (the Jewish people).

So always remember that our Tefilloth are very, very powerful. Our Tefilloth can decide the fate of a tree. Our Tefilloth can decide the fate of our own family, our relatives and the whole Jewish people. Just like our prayer can affect a tree growing in the land of Israel, our prayer can affect any Jew in any part of the world who needs help and mercy from הקדוש ברוך הוא, the Holy One, blessed be He.

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