Photo Credit: Jewish Press

The Jewish nation is compared to a tree and the Jewish holidays are like the seeds.

The comparison to a tree is quite clear. The strong roots are our heritage, the branches are our offspring, the colorful leaves are our good deeds, and the longevity of the trees is our eternal existence as a nation that never will cease to exist.

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Where do the seeds come into the plan? The seeds are the basis from which we take our strength, to stand strong, despite all the winds in the world.

If one plants seeds which are not successful the plant or tree will not grow and might even die. However, if seeds that are planted are strong and fruitful, and are planted in the proper manner, and in the right conditions, the seeds will take well to the ground and something wonderful will grow in its place.

The seeds go into the ground whole and then they decompose and start their process of growth.

Hashem in His infinite wisdom created the holidays for His children. When we think of each holiday before we start to prepare for it, it’s like the whole seed. Clean and round with happy thoughts of how nice this seed will look when it develops into a pretty tree.

And then comes the planting and the process of the decomposing of the seed, which is the planning and the preparations for each holiday. The bigger the tree the bigger the preparations and the process.

Each holiday has its special intrinsic make up which creates the necessary work to make our tree grow properly. There are many trees and many holidays. Each one has a different energy and strength that helps us keep going despite all our challenges and winds in this world.

The same holidays come and go each year and each time it’s like watering our plants and trees that we planted a year before. The seeds never end and neither do the planting. This is the continuation of our nation. All nations have holidays, however our holidays have to do with growth, not only with celebration.

The mere act of all the preparations makes us change and grow. If we go through the list of holidays from the beginning of the year and throughout, we can see how each special holiday leaves a major impact on our soul. Each one molds and elevates us to spiritual and mental heights we couldn’t achieve with out them.

As small children we receive certain messages and building equipment. And as we grow older each and every year and each and every holiday, our tree grows stronger and more fruitful. Jewish history isn’t a story, it’s a guideline which forms our lives and helps us stay strong and healthy in every generation.

The holidays which we plan and prepare for with all that it entails, strengthens our roots and makes sure that our tree of life stays alive forever.

It is written that in the month of Nissan which is when we celebrate the holiday of Pesach, the Jewish nation was redeemed, and it’s in the month of Nissan that the Jewish nation will be redeemed in the future. The holiday of Pesach has more planning and preparation than all the other holidays.

This makes perfect sense. If the holidays are like the seeds and the bigger the planning and preparing the bigger the tree, and the light and strength we receive from that tree, the tree of Pesach is the tree of the redemption.

The amount of cleaning, buying and changing over the whole house in preparation for Pesach, makes it so clear that we are preparing for the full redemption. When we want to plant a huge tree that will give fruit and shade in abundance, we must create a big space and cultivate the ground so that the seeds will take well and the growth of the tree will be successful.

We are now after the holiday of Pesach and after the major planting of our tree of redemption. During the time of Sefirat HaOmer we can feel the growth and the hard work that we put into preparing for Pesach, as we now get back into our routine.

From now till our next holiday, until we need to water our trees again, may we take strength and support, from all the planting we did over the month of Nissan, and may we come to Shavuot, healthy and ready to receive Hashem’s gifts once again, and be redeemed forever.

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Michal can be reached at michal@jewishpress.com
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