A Tree By The Waters

Psalm 1:1-3 reads: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but 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.”

My wife shared this passage with me yesterday, and the illustration of the tree providing good fruit, and being full of healthy leaf, is a great simile for the righteous. They provide teaching, compassion, and  love as good fruit to those they meet; their nourishment is constantly provided by God’s living waters, and have no fear of drought, as His loving kindness is forever.

It brought to mind a rabbinic story I had read recently, but to which I had no immediate application.  It goes:  “A man was travelling through the desert, hungry, thirsty and tired, when he came upon a tree bearing luscious fruit and affording plenty of shade, underneath which ran a spring of water. He ate of the fruit, drank of the water and rested beneath the shade. When he was about to leave, he turned to the tree and said: “Tree, O tree, with what should I bless you? “Should I bless you that your fruit be sweet? Your fruit is already sweet. “Should I bless you that your shade be plentiful? Your shade is plentiful. That 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 G‑d’s will that all the trees planted from your seeds should be like you . . . ” (Talmud, Taanit 5B).

Are we such trees and what are our seeds going to grow into?




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s