During the time of Tu BiSh’vat, all the plants appear to be the same as it was the day before. But beneath the rough, lifeless bark, hidden from sight, there is a stirring…a silent awakening…a new life beginning to emerge that will eventually, with Hashem’s help, blossom and bear fruit. We can learn three important lessons from Tu BiSh’vat.

  1. In our relationship with Hashem. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught that, in this world, it is completely impossible for us to know where we are holding in our avodas Hashem, and not knowing where one stands is one of the main tests in life.

We could have a small awakening or yearning to come closer to Hashem that suddenly comes and just as suddenly goes. It seems like nothing has changed; but because of that single moment of yearning, a gate is opened in the upper worlds. Hashem responds with a wellspring of strength, clarity, and longing to break through all the blocks, fears, doubts, and confusions that prevent us from reaching our spiritual potential.

  1. In our relationship with those around us. We don’t always know the impact of our actions in this world. You could try to help someone who is going through some difficulty in life. You reach out, but it seems like nothing has changed on the other person’s end. Sometimes, though, beneath the surface, you’ve actually planted the seeds that will take root and blossom at some later point. Sometimes this happens the other way around, and you are the one who is later affected.
  2. In our relationship with ourselves. Sometimes, we can see, hear, or experience something along the way that makes an unexpected impact or becomes “useful” later on. Sometimes, many years can go by between the experience and the moment when everything suddenly falls into place and it all makes sense. And, when that “click” happens, we are left with a bigger picture – a greater understanding of ourselves, Hashem, and how He runs to world.

In the end, Tu BiSh’vat is about emunah. It’s about believing that what we see on the surface is not always an indication of what’s happening beneath it, outside of our field of vision. It’s about believing that though we make choices in life, we’re not really in control of the outcome. What seems hopeless, lost, or lifeless actually contains seeds of life.

(Material was previously published on www.ShiratMiriam.com.)


List of People Who Need a r’fuah sh’leimah (a complete recovery)

Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.


Yisrael Rachamim Mordechai ben Evelyn

Yosef Refael Chaim ben Sarah

Moshe ben Peninah

Yaakov Moshe ben Gladys Chatun

Nathaniel Yekusiel ben Brachah Leah

Yaakov Chai ben Tovah

Tinok ben Rivkah Henna

Yeshayah Asher Refael ben Feiga
Yosef ben Shoshanah

Mordechai Efraim ben Fishal Zav


Zelda bas Chavah

Golda bas Zelda

Chayah Sarah bas Nechamah

Esther Hadassah bas Devorah

Angela bas Vajiheh

Rivkah Henna bas Devorah

Tamarah bas Istat Esther

Alice bas Avigayil

Nurith bas Mazal

Breindel bas Raizel

To add names of individuals who need a r’fuah sh’leimah to next week’s T’hilim column, please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and complete the Google form.