The artwork on this note card was created by 5768 WRJ Art Calendar artist Césan d’Ornellas Levine.
Master of the Universe
Grant me the ability to be alone;
May it be my custom to go outdoors each day
Among the trees and grasses,
Among all growing things
And there I may be alone,
And enter into prayer
To talk with the one
That I belong to.
(Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav)
Whenever I turn my eyes, around on Earth or to the heavens, I see You in the field of stars, I see you in the yield of the land in every breath and sound, a blade of grass, a simple flower, an echo of Your holy Name. (Abraham Ibn Ezra, God Everywhere)
A Blessing on Seeing Trees Blossoming:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, who has withheld nothing from Your world and has created in it beautiful creatures and goodly trees for the enjoyment of all Your people.
(Cherie Koller-Fox, Tu BiSh'vat Seder, Harvard Hillel, Temple Israel, Westport, CT)
An Ecological Kavannah:
For the sake of the earth, for the sake of the generations, and for the sake of all the waters and creatures and plants, for the sake of all who are hungry, for the sake of thankfulness, and for the sake of our own souls, may we have the wisdom and courage to protect and restore, and not diminish the integrity of creation. May we always open our hearts and our hands to share the bounty of the Earth with all who are in need.
(Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life)
A Tu BiSh'vat Prayer for Creation
Source of Creation and Life of the Universe, we gather together on Tu BiSh'vat, as Jews of conscience, with a deep spiritual bond to your natural wonders, to affirm and preserve creation.
We are grateful for creation in all its majesty: the ever flowing waters, the azure blue skies, the complex life of Earth’s forests, the myriad of life forms—amoebae and falcon, black footed ferret and wild turkey, human being and soaring eagle.
The life of all creatures and our own lives are One, profoundly dependent upon each other.
We call our ancient scroll of wisdom, the Torah, an Eitz Chayim, a tree of life, for it, like the Earth’s great forests, sustains us. Torah teaches us that creation, in its great diversity, is harmoniously interconnected. Like the trees, we too need strong and deep roots for nourishment.
The uplifted branches of trees point to our future. God, let us be strong, as strong as ancient trees. The Psalmist was right when he said, “like a tree planted by the waters, we shall not be moved.”
We are grateful for the life we are lent. We pledge to lift up our voices, both in praise of You and in defense of Your Creation.
(Rabbi Warren Stone)