Eitz Chayim, A Song for Tu BiSh'vat

Celebrate Tu BiSh'vat with music. Matt Check and Naomi Less have a new take on an old favorite. BLUEGRASS style. Dare you not to get up and dance! Listen now and learn more about the meaning from Naomi, below.

Every week, Jewish communities return and return to a scroll of parchment attached to two branches (Eitz Chaim – trees of life) to mete out meaning from an ancient narrative.

And each week when we finish our reading, we sing the text of Proverbs and Lamentations: that Torah’s paths are peaceful, her ways are pleasant, and those who accompany her - who walk her path - are happy. And even further implied is that walking this path will return us to earlier days, better days, and more peaceful days, as it was in the beginning.

Is Eitz Chayim an intention? Can it be a call to action?

Eitz Chayim, in my opinion, is nothing short of a mandate for Torah-empowerment: to see the beauty in the world, to continue to return to the higher purpose of loving one’s neighbor, of softening the heart and renewing us to what is possible in this world. Tu BiSh'vat reminds us of what new life can look like. When trees begin to blossom, even during winter time, joy can shine through.

Eitz Chayim - a song for Tu BishvatTorah is a Living Tree for those who take hold
Those who accompany her are content
Her ways are pleasant ways - her paths are peaceful
- Proverbs 3:17-18

Restore us and we shall return,
Renew our days, like they are our first
- Lamentations 5:21

(Translation by Naomi Less and Matt Check, inspired by the Lab/Shul liturgy team: Amichai Lau Lavie, Ezra Bookman, Naomi Less, Shira Kline and Rabbi David Kline)

Eitz Chayim is by Naomi Less and Matt Check
© 2015 Naomi Less and Matt Check