Just a Couple of Trees Talking on Tu B'Shvat

2 minute read
What the holiday <strong>should </strong>look like. (Photo by Rusty Russ via Creative Commons.)
What the holiday <strong>should </strong>look like. (Photo by Rusty Russ via Creative Commons.)

Nestled in mid to late January, Tu B'Shvat is the hardly heralded Jewish holiday in honor of trees, literally "the New Year for the Trees." And if the idea of a New Year's Eve for Trees strikes you as a little odd, rest assured you're not alone.

"Happy New Year, Maple!"

"Happy New Year to you too, Spruce."

"Yeah, New Year's Eve! Oh boy, oh boy! Umm, Maple?"

"Yeah, kid?"

"What are we doing tonight?"

"Excuse me?"

"It's New Year's Eve! Party time! Where are the party hats, the noisemakers, the hot young saplings? Where's that special kiss on the leaves come midnight?"



"We won't be doing any of that stuff."

"No? What will we be doing then?"

"Practicing photosynthesis. Growing bark. Maybe grabbing a few hits of CO2 later."

"But. . .but what about the parties?"

"We're trees, Spruce. How would we get to any parties?"

"Oh, right. Mobility's not our best thing."

"Yep. I'd give up any dreams of becoming a travel writer if I were you."

"But there must be some excitement for us on New Year's, Maple."

"Oh, there is. Tomorrow morning the humans stop by and give thanks to us."

"FANTASTIC! The humans bring us gold, frankincense, myrrh. . .whatever myrrh is!"


"Yeah, Maple?"

"The humans pat us on the trunk a coupla times and bolt."

"That's it? Well, then there can’t be much for them to thank us for.”

"Only most of their basic food supply. And the nourishment of animals, which supplies all the rest. Shade. Wood for their tools, dwellings, and other amenities of life. And a little thing called oxygen."

"Gee, you'd think all that would at least be worth an iPad."

"Better get some sleep, kid."

"Well, next year in Jerusalem, Maple!"

"Uh, kid?"

"Yes, Maple?"

"We live in Philadelphia. Can't really change that."

"Oh, yeah. Mobility thing."

"That's it."

"Well, goodnight, Maple!"

"Goodnight, Spruce."

"Umm, Maple?"

"Yeah, kid?"

"It’s nice that there’s a special holiday for trees. But if Tu B'Shvat is supposed to be our New Year's Eve, OY, spare me from dateless Saturdays in February!"

Note: This year, Tu B'Shvat is January 15-16, 2013. Make sure you hug a tree.
They deserve it.

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