Today, one of the most critical issues city dwellers face is ensuring ample clean water. In Los Angeles, a city that must import close to 90% of the water it drinks, trees have a surprisingly critical role to play in ensuring its water supply and safety.

Thousands of years ago Rabbis, in their deepest wisdom, knew that trees are literally our life support system. In a religion focused for much of its history on survival, Jews recognized early on that when societies stopped planting and caring for trees those trees disappeared, and along with them went their soil, their food and their water. When that happened those societies disappeared. Perhaps that’s why we have, and continue to need a holiday with the sole purpose of remembering and appreciating trees.

Tu B’Shvat celebrates a victory over disappearance, and contains vital wisdom to remind us what’s needed not only to survive today, but to thrive.

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