Tu B'Shvat
The Adams Street Shul

Congregation Agudas Achim Anshei Sfard

Twenty-three people came together to enjoy The Adams Street Shul's third annual 'Picnic With the Trees', on Sunday,  May 3rd, 2009.  Our guest speaker was Rabbi David Maayan.

First, Rabbi Maayan discussed a teaching of the Besht that was based on the Besht's observation of trees, as brought down by The Arele Rav (Rabbi Arele [Aharon] Roth) in Shomer Emunim.

Then he shared insights on the connection between Torah and Nature by The B'nei Issachar (who was the grandfather of Rav Arele's rebbe, The Bluzhover Rebbe).

Finally, Rabbi Maayan compared three very different sources, each responding to the mishnah (in Pirke Avot 3:7) about the fate of one who stops studying Torah to admire a tree.  They included the writings of Rav Kook, the teachings of the Maggid of Mezerich, and a surprising perspective from Notzar Chesed (by the Komarna Rav).

Here are images of page 1 and page 2 of the handout at the event, containing the sources being discussed.

And here is the video of the shiur:  

(26 minutes)