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    Thankful for small mercies

    This Shabbat being Tu BiSh’vat, the New Year for Trees, we are reminded of what a beautiful world the Creator has placed in our hands.

    The trees are only one – though in some ways the most visible – of the beauties of Nature. They give us protection, products and poetry. They give us inspiration: as the poetic preacher Joel Blau said, “Trees grow upwards: so should men. Trees, with their green leaves and tenderly tinted blossoms, seek the light: so should men.”

    Once a year – or more often – we should give thanks to the Maker of the Trees. And further thanks should go to the same Maker for blessing us with so many other boons, great and small – not only in physical Nature, but in human life. Should we not take every opportunity to thank Him for love, for kindness, for courage, for the power of the human heart and the might of the human mind? Above all, for the creative possibility of bringing new generations to birth and continuing the human race.

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