TREES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

 

tree-by-river-pmGod in His Wisdom has given mankind all that pertains to life in nature to help thrive and flourish on earth. God has given tree bearing fruits with seed life to continue replenishing the earth. Today is exciting New Year’s Day in Judaism: Tu B’Shvat (15th of Shevat), also known as Rosh HaShanah La’Ilanot (New Year for Trees). One way in which this day is celebrated around the world, but especially here in Israel, is through heightened ecological awareness. We see the earliest blooming of trees at this time of the year, so it is fitting school children throughout the country will be out planting trees today.Tithing Trees in Torah and Bible says, “When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden [orlah / foreskin]. For three years you are to consider it forbidden [arelim / having a foreskin or uncirmumcised]; it must not be eaten. In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:23–24). In the Torah and in the Bible, tithes are offered in accordance with written laws included such commodities as cattle, the “five grains,” wine, olive oil, and the fruit of the trees(Leviticus 27:30–33).Samaria-and-tamarisk-tree-btn
However, Leviticus 19:23 forbids the eating of fruit from any tree during the first three years of its growth. The first Hebrew word translated in most English Bibles asforbidden is orlah (f), which literally means foreskin. The second is a related word: arel(m). It means having a foreskin or uncircumcised, which best describes something that has not yet been sanctified/ made holy. Jesus prayed intensely in the Bethlehem Garden of Gethsemane where in agony sweated blood and tears. Jesus called on God to remove cup of sacrifice of death if possible however Jesus went through and gave His life as a Ransom for many.PALDSC_0192 (6)This tree is still standing strong and also bearing olive for thousands of years. The tree endures many years continuing to flourish bearing witness to Christ in agony. In the fourth year, however, all of the fruit becomes holy by offering it to the Lord; that is, all of it is tithed as an offering of praise and thanksgiving to God. Clementines grow well in Israeli in citrus groves. Only in the fifth year may the fruit be eaten, so it is important to establish a date on which the year of tithing begins. Much of ancient Israel, it generally depended on the particular crop with land crops beginning their tithe year on the 1st of Tishrei, which is the calendar year’s Rosh Hashanah or New Year. Rabbi Hillel (c. 110–10 BC) set the tithe year for fruit trees beginning on 15th of Shevat (today). On tithing calendar, by the Jewish community still today, if a tree were planted yesterday, it also celebrates its second birthday today. (Judaism 101). Traditionally, Tu B’Shvat, is the day the age of a tree is taken into consideration for purpose of tithing. So Tithing is essential today as GOD’S Due.ca5699f364b15ae21242ff9461b664aaFirst fruit portion of all things including wealth, assets, property, time, days and other gifts given. To remember that it is God who gives power to get wealth.So the Feast of Tu B’Shvat remembers to commemorate and thank God for He said, “I give you seed-bearing plants on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” (Genesis 1:29). In every seed inbuilt regrowth for the earth to have more than enough to feed all. It is important people work in line with God not to ruin beautiful organic natural rich environment provided. This is a holiday about rebirth, renewal, and conservation; it is about giving, and it is about enjoying the fruit God blessed us with. Though businesses are opened today, we commemorate the day by eating fruits given to us on the land in particular, 7 species mentioned in Deuteronomy 8:8, considered most abundant produce of Land of Israel:

• Wheat (chitah)
• Barley (se’orah)
• Grapes (gefen), consumed as wine
• Figs (te’enah)
• Pomegranates (rimon)
• Olives (zayit), consumed in oil form
• Dates (tamar or d’vash).orange_tree500[1]

Because of their significance in the Land, these seven species also became the traditional produce offering called the bikkurim (firstfruits), which the Jewish People first brought to the Levites and later to the priests who served at the Temple and who didn’t own land of their own. We find this law of tithing in Deuteronomy 26:1–2: “When you have entered the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it, take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land the LORD your God.532052a5edb11d499479da72538de9ecTake the fruit God is giving you and put them in a basket. Then go to the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for His Name.” The bikkurim offering ended when the Temple was destroyed in AD 70. Today, Tu B’Shvat has come to symbolize and celebrate the spiritual and physical connection to God, as well as to the Land of Israel. It is the duty of all believers to bring the harvest to GOD’S House to thank God for making crops grow yielding bumper harvests to feed all mankind. People Can Be Like Trees: “Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”  (Jeremiah 17:7–8). This day has spiritual relevance to us because the Bible often associates people with trees and their fruit. overhanging-trees.jpgStarting in the Middle Ages, the holiday of Tu B’Shvat began to be celebrated as a festive occasion in line with the 3rd century writings of the Mishnah (book of rabbinic discussions), which first called it “Rosh Hashanah” or “New Year.” Starting in the 16th century in the Land of Israel, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria of Safed began to celebrate it as a seder to Passover seder. This seder, though, was a celebration of the Tree of Life. Though bikkurim offering ended when Temple was destroyed in AD 70.  Today, Tu B’Shvat symbolizes spiritual celebration and physical connection to God, as well as to the Land of Israel. This logo of Volcan Institute Agricultural Research Organization in Ben Shemen,  Israel reflects the Seven Species and their centrality to Israeli Jewish People. 

(Photo by צילום:ד”ר אבישי טייכר). Starting in the Middle Ages, holiday of Tu B’Shvat began celebrated as festive occasion in line with the 3rd century writings of the Mishnah (book of rabbinic discussions), which first called it “Rosh Hashanah “New Year.” Started in the 16th century in the Land of Israel, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria of Safed began to celebrate it as a seder similar to the Passover seder.  This seder, though, was a celebration of Tree of Life diagram of Sephirot 10 spheres, representing realm of Yahweh’s spiritual universe. The seder is called in Hebrew the P’ri Etz Hadar, which means The Fruit of the Beautiful Tree. Incorporated in the seder are blessings designed to strengthen the Tree of Life. References the “Four Worlds” or emanations linked with the roots, trunk, branches, leaves of a tree. Traditionally Tu B’Shvat seder would end with prayer states in part: “May all the sparks scattered by our hands, or by the hands of our ancestors, or by the sin of first human against the fruit of the tree, be returned to include in majestic might of Tree of Life.” There is suggestion repairing of environment leads ecologically-minded Jews living in Israel to re-establish the Tu B’Shvat seder to promote ecological issues.JesusIsComingPlantATreeThis day has spiritual relevance to us because the Bible often associates people with trees and their fruit. But why does the Bible relate man to a tree? The Talmud (Taanit 5b) tells of a man who was traveling through the desert when he came across a beautiful tree with luscious fruit planted by a flowing stream.  After filling himself with its bounty he asked tree: “‘Tree, O tree, with what should I bless you?  Should I bless you that your fruit be sweet?  Your fruit is sweet. Should I bless you that your shade be plentiful? Your shade is plentiful. A spring of water should run beneath you? A spring of water runs beneath you. ‘There is one thing with which I can bless you: May it be God’s will that all the trees planted from seeds should be like you.’”Like trees soak up nourishment available and blossom to bear sweet fruit and provide bountiful shade, a righteous person soaks up what is good (things of God) and, in turn, does good while asking nothing in return. Those blessed by the generosity naturally wish God will bless a person’s offspring physically and spiritually so they would be like them.  (Chabad). Oaks of Righteousness: in the Bible Our roots draw from hidden resources nourish us so we become healthy, independent individuals impacting our communities for good. In the same way malnourished root will affect the health of the entire tree, abuse or mistreatment of a child ultimately affect quality of fruit they bear. Because malnourishment affects the various stages of lives, we think we are weak, brokenhearted, or too oppressed to stand tall to bear righteous fruit. We delegate task to righteous people.
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Jesus promised through the power of His Anointed One, the most wounded person we become oak of righteousness who bears bountiful fruit. Whoever believes in Jesus Christ, Scripture has rivers of living water will flow within them.”  (John 7:38) In infancy, the root of a tree soaks in send out nourishment. develops into sturdy freestanding trunk produces healthy fruit or lush foliage. Isaiah proclaimed promise when prophesied words of Anointed One saying, “The Spirit of Sovereign LORD is on me, for the LORD anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow a crown of beauty instead of ashes, oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise not a spirit of despair. “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for display of God’s splendour in Isaiah 61:1–3.when-a-tree-falls The Good News is the Lord’s Anointed One has come and He has become the hidden Anointed Spring nourishing us. Unlike a tree, we must choose to tap into this nourishment so that it can run through us and transform us into oaks of righteousness. This Spring has been available for nearly 2,000 years when a newly immersed rabbi read the above words of Isaiah, closed the scroll, and declared. Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing (Luke 4:21). Great  Rabbi Yeshua HaMashiach Jesus, the Anointed One Messiah, declared, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them is a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  (John 4:14). Others see transformation from ashes to beauty, from mourning to joy come to know glory splendour of our Lord Anointed One becomes oaks too. Tu B’Shvat Celebrates the Environment.“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. … “  (Genesis 1:28). In modern times, in Israel, the holiday of Tu B’Shvat is associated with a concern for the environment. Israel is a small country and much of it is arid desert.  It cannot afford to waste what resources it has; as a result of God’s prophetic timing, personal ingenuity, and necessity, Israel has shown itself to lead in the preserving environment. For instance, Israel is able to reclaim sewage for agricultural uses and turn billions of gallons of seawater into fresh drinkable water, which is now being used to replace and replenish the diminished water tables and resources. Israel can even extract water from the air. In the past, water flowed southward mostly from the Sea of Galilee, which has suffered falling levels due to repeated years of drought or near drought.  But today, water is being pumped from Israel’s five seawater desalination projects to the north of the country for agriculture and personal use.tree-402953_640-604x270.jpgIsrael’s reverse osmosis facility in city of Ashkelon is the world’s largest example of desalination plant. By 2016, 50 % tap water in Israel will be from desalination in addition to much of the water used for agriculture. As oak of righteousness Israel has been sharing its ingenuity to help solve drought in environment. The concern for the environment does not stop only with water conservation.  According to the World Wildlife Fund, Israel is ranked as the second highest Cleantech country in the world. Over 83% of Israeli homes use solar energy to create hot water the highest percentage in the world. The country treats 92 percent of  wastewater and 75 percent reused in agriculture.  This too is the highest rate in the world. Israeli company came up with drip irrigation work to implement it throughout the world. Israelis also use special diets and scientific innovation to produce more milk per cow than other countries company based in religious kibbutz is world’s largest producer of natural pesticides. Scientists discovered bacteria “eats” petroleum used to clean spills. Israel is one of two countries in the world where the deserts are shrinking rather than expanding, and its air is one of cleanest with CO2 emissions at 11.02 per capita which is half of that of the US. It is the only country in the world to enter the present century with a net gain in its number of trees, and in areas that are mostly desert.  In the past 50 years the country has planted over 260 million trees. Recycling, Israel’s 20 % more of its plastic bottles as compared with America or other parts of the world doing it for the past ten years.  It is estimated that if something is not done URGENTLY globally half the sea will be consumes by plastic waste. Today in the fields drip irrigation lines water young orange trees to ensure regular nutrition for the plants. So Tu B’Shvat is not just celebrating trees. It is a celebration of all God’s creation and, most importantly, it reminds us of our ability to tap into the anointing waters of Yeshua HaMashiach for our spiritual nourishment growth. On Tu B’Shvat, we have an opportunity to consider our rootedness.

Are we receiving proper Godly spiritual nourishment from HaShem (The Name/ YAHVEH) and His Anointed One?  Are we connected to a healthy, spiritually supportive community and, if not, what can we do to change and improve that? Let us all be good stewards of the physical and spiritual resources that the Lord has provided to us for His splendor, so we may yield bountiful fruit that continues to be a blessing from generation to generation. Blessed is the one … whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.  That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers.”  (Psalm 1:1–3). Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.  Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for He comes, He comes to judge the earth.”  (Psalm 96:12–13))
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