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300 Gems from the Ben Ish Hai
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A Torah Minute: 300 Gems from the Ben Ish Hai. Including the Women's Corner.
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Women's Corner

A Personal Message for Tu Bishbat

Rabbi Ya'aqob Menashe
Wednesday, January 15, 2014/Shebat 14, 5774

There is a lot that we, as human beings, can learn from the trees. In the winter months, when we look at the trees, we see them standing bare. Coming from Yerushalayim, which has numerous pine trees, I always felt cheerless, somehow affected by their nakedness and lack of green leaves. It then occurred to me, that the branches of the majority of the bare trees are all pointing to Heaven. Perhaps just as we, human beings, point our arms to Heaven when we lack something, the trees do just the same.

When covered with leaves, blooming and green, we cannot see them pointing upwards, towards their Creator. Unfortunately, we too, tend to somehow forget G-d and to appreciate His goodness when we have what we want. It is especially in times of need, when we realize that we lack something, such as, health, wealth, a life partner etc., and stand bare in front of our Creator, that we cry out to Him and raise our hands.

I would like to share with you another phenomenon which I observed, obviously not a scientific one. I observed that a high percentage of evergreen trees branch out from the trunk to the sides in a horizontal direction. It could be that we can attribute it to the weight of the leaves on the branches, but we should learn that though we are likened to trees, we are obviously superior to them. Therefore, we should lift up our hands to heaven, thank Him and praise Him, even or especially when everything goes well for us and we are "covered with leaves" and blessed abundantly.

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