Torah Portion BESHALACH – Shemot (Exodus) 13:17-17:16
Special Tu B’Shevat Edition – Jewish New Year for the Trees
But his delight is in the Torah of Adonai, and on His Torah he meditates day and night. He will be like a planted tree over streams of water, producing its fruit during its season.
Its leaf never droops—but in all he does, he succeeds. Psalm 1:2-3
Shabbat shalom dearly beloved and a blessed Tu B’Shevat to you,
The reason that so many people feel lonely, disconnected and rootless is because they are not planted in a fruitful soil – or not planted anywhere.
The First Planter in the Universe is the Creator Himself – He planted a garden,
Then Adonai Elohim planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there He put the man whom He had formed. Genesis 2:8 TLV
When you plant something, roots grow into the soil and those roots take space and possession of the soil. The plant now belongs to that soil and makes its home there. When plants or trees are uprooted from their ground and are left to themselves, their roots dry up and they die quickly.
Throughout the Holy Scriptures YHVH describes humans as trees, flowers, vines and plants, which means that we human beings are to have roots and to grow into the soil where we are assigned to grow, develop and mature. We are to be planted by the Creator Himself who knows where we belong.
. . . that they might be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of Adonai, that He may be glorified. Isaiah 61:3
He desires that all those who belong to Him, starting with Israel, His Chosen People and also those grafted in from the nations, will be called Oaks of Righteousness – ones that He Himself would plant in the right soil so we can grow well and healthy.
Since YHVH is the Planter, the only thing we are called to do is to yield to His will and let Him lead us where He wants us to be planted. Most people try to plant themselves wherever they see fit and they live their lives in a constant “hit and miss” situation. They plant themselves in the wrong career, wrong job, wrong relationship, wrong church, wrong vision, wrong neighborhood, wrong city or country and so on.
Then they find themselves miserable and confused and fruitless. Looking back in their old age, they have nothing but regret.
When we let YHVH do the planting, we yield to His will, His career for us, His choice of spouse, His choice of vision and mission that we are to pursue, His choice of Ministry we are to belong to, His choice of place where we ought to dwell – then even into our old age we will bear FRUIT.
Planted in the House of Adonai, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age. They will be full of sap and freshness. Psalm 92:14-15 TLV
When we are planted firmly in His will, in His House, in His Spirit, in His Word, in His Torah, in His Kingdom, we grow as mighty oaks of righteousness and the winds of adversity cannot uproot us.
“Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and was strong in his evil desire.” But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it, and I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones. Psalm 52:9-11 NASB
An evil desire is every desire that is not rooted in the Perfect Will of Yah for our lives. It can be something good what you desire, but it is not good for you. I often say “The good is the enemy of the perfect”. Many people have planted themselves in “good places”, good visions, missions, ministries, jobs and so on. But the question is: Is it the Perfect Will of Yah for your life? And are you bearing fruit that will be counted for eternity? Is your Root system healthy? Can it withstand the adversities, the difficulties, the trials, the changing of the times? Will you be stable in times of storm? And by the end will He be able to take ownership of you and say: Yes, you are My Planting and I am glorified!
When you find the Vision, the Mission, the Ministry, the Purpose for your life, stay put – allow your roots to grow deep into the ground where He has planted you! Contrary to trees and plants, we have a self-will. Occasionally when the Planter is fertilizing the ground and some “stinky” situation arises, we may be tempted to run away – to quit and uproot ourselves from His Presence, love, vision, mission, ministry, congregation, marriage, partnership, business and from His Perfect Will. If we don’t escape, but stay put and trust Him, the hardship will pass. Our roots will grow healthier and deeper and we will bear fruit upward. This is what Yah promised to the People of Israel after a time of great difficulties.
The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 2 Kings 19:30
We are called to bloom where He has planted us. Sometimes we think to ourselves, “surely Abba has made a mistake: this is not what I wanted to do for life, this is not my ideal marriage – better I escape”. But before you do ask yourself the question: Is He moving you or is it your self-will and your own evil desire? When He plants us somewhere and with someone, it may be strange and uncomfortable at first, but as we keep on letting Him be the Planter and the Gardener, we will see that His Perfect Will is always the BEST!
I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for apart from Me, you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and is dried up. Such branches are picked up and thrown into the fire and burned. John 15:5,6
A Life Changing Prayer
Abba, Father in Heaven, I ask your forgiveness whenever I have used my self-will, fear, unbelief or evil desire which planted me in the wrong places, with the wrong people and the wrong vision and mission. I hereby yield my will to yours and allow you to be my Planter – to Plant me wherever you will and to lead me wherever you desire. Help me to stay planted firmly in Your Holy Spirit and in the soil, the place, the ministry, the mission and life purpose where You will plant me all the days of my life. Grant me to have my roots healthy and deep as I meditate in Your Torah and do it. I will bear fruit upward for Your Glory, in Yeshua’s mighty name. Amen!
Firmly Planted, Bearing Fruit and Abiding in Him Forever,
Your Israeli Mentors and Friends
Celebrating 30 years of Marriage and Ministry
Archbishop Dominiquae and Rabbi Baruch Bierman
Why A New Year for The Trees?
Like Hanukkah, Tu B’Shevat is not mentioned in the Bible. It has, however, been part of Jewish custom for centuries. In recent times Tu B’Shevat has become known as an “environmental holiday”, a Jewish “earth day” where people plant trees.
Tu B’Shevat is called the New Year for Trees because this is the time when the trees of Israel come back to life after their winter hibernation.
The winter rains have come to an end and the water has drained beneath the earth’s surface, down to where the roots dwell. There is little to no rain in the summer months, so their sustenance comes from these deep reservoirs of water that are now nourishing the roots. The ground “wakes up”, the roots start to drink and the trees “come back to life” on Tu B’Shevat.
“For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:8
Trees in Israel fulfill Bible prophecy
Trees are an important part of life in Israel. Trees are planted to remember people, to celebrate births and are planted simply to bless the land of Israel as God commanded.
The Bible teaches how the land of Israel will flourish when the Jews return. This is happening today. Israel is one of only two countries in the world that entered the millennium with an increase of trees. These numbers continue to grow and the Biblical prophecy is being fulfilled in our time.
Marriage and Trees
There is an ancient Jewish custom to plant a tree every time a child is born. Males typically would have a cedar tree planted and females a cypress tree. The hope was that the girls will be hopeful and fragrant like the cypress tree and the boys will grow into strong men.
In a beautiful tradition, when a bride and groom join together in marriage, they each provide branches from their trees to make a chuppah, the canopy under which Jewish couples get married. The couple are wed under the branches of their personal trees to represent the bond between birth and marriage.
The Biblical teaching about trees
The Bible constantly refers to humans as being like trees (in Psalm 1:3, Jeremiah 17:8 and Psalm 19:12 to name just a few). As with trees, the most important thing about people is the fruit they bear. Are they productive – do they develop their talents – are they a blessing to others, etc.?
“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:3
Tu B’Shevat is all about fruit
While trees are important, however, the real purpose of a tree is to produce fruit. And so, as stated earlier, the celebration is not actually about trees but about the fruit they produce. It is fruit that is the symbol of Tu B’Shevat.
Jews celebrate Tu B’Shevat by eating fruit. There are various thoughts on the number of fruits that should be eaten during the holiday, ranging from seven to fifteen. But the popular thought is that it is based upon the fruit Israel is best known for today, which is also those mentioned in Deuteronomy 8:8 – figs, olives, grapes, pomegranates, and dates (honey).
As believers in Messiah we can see the significance of the Hebrew Holy Scriptures (Old Testament) comparisons to trees and humans, but also with the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
(Adapted from https://www.cufi.org.uk/spotlight/tu-bshevat-the-new-year-for-trees-and-its-biblical-teachings-for-christians/)
Originally before the destruction of the Temple, Tu B’Shevat was the time when families calculated the tithes from their harvest to pledge and give to the Priests-Cohanim.
We invite you to calculate and send your tithes and first fruits to
We pray your harvest of righteousness will increase 1000-fold in Yeshua’s name!
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Watch: Haifa – The Spirit of Elijah
It is time to understand the importance of the battles being fought against idolatry in our day. The “high places” must be torn down! Listen to this passionate message by Archbishop Dominiquae Bierman as she explains how the Spirit of Elijah is declaring the true gospel: the Torah is now written upon our hearts, fully submitted to Him, as we move according to His powerful Spirit and Truth in these end times.
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