The Lonely Pine Tree
Written by: Yehuda Paradis, Illustrated by: Aviel Basil
For many a generation, Jews would spend Tu Bishvat eating the fruit that grew in the Holy Land, praising the land, and singing songs of love and yearning about it. During the first Aliyah, the first major wave of immigration to Israel in the late 19th century, which was agriculture-oriented, the schoolchildren began to plant trees on Tu Bishvatby way of expressing their love of the land, and their renewed relationship with it.
Since then, generations of children have been celebratingTu Bishvat, the trees' birthday, by planting new trees, and connecting with nature, local history, as well as the next generations.
Just as you came in and found plantings which others had planted, so you shall plant for your children
(Midrash Tanchum, Parashat Kedoshim).
The renewed joy of the holidayhad led to a surge of Hebrew literature, in both poetry and prose. The LonelyPine Treeis one such example. Happy Tu Bishvat! .Reading together, experiencing together Discussion
Do you, much like the pine tree, feel lonely sometimes? Have you ever seen a boy or girl who seemed a little lonely?
You may want to discuss this feeling of "being all alone" and what we could do when we –or those around us – feel this way.
Some information on pine treesThe Jerusalem Pine (more commonly known in English as the Aleppo Pine) is the species of pine trees that grows in Israel.
It is highly prevalent in the Carmel and Judea Mountains areas.
As the Jewish community, the Yishuv,grew, it began to plant large pinetree forests in the Land of Israel. The pine tree contains resin, and in springtime,its branches are densely filled with pinecones. Would you like to learn more about the pine tree?
Feel free to look for images and additional information online.
The next chapter What will happen once the trees grow and a forest is created?
Will they be friends with the pine tree? Will other friends come and visit? And what will the children do in the new forest?
–You may enjoy discussing the next chapter of the book, acting it out, or drawing it together.
A game –Who am I?Am Ithe wind blowing? Or the falling rain? Perhaps a leaping rabbit? You could play a form of charadesby taking turns miming one of the characters inthe book, and having the others try to guess which one you've chosen.
-How to adopt a tree
How about picking a tree in your area and taking care of it? You could clean around it, place a mat under it, and observe the small animals that use it as part of their habitat. If you look carefully, you may even catch it smiling.