Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Gift of Trees

This coming Sunday night and Monday is a very special day in the Jewish calendar: it's Tu B'Shvat, the New Year for trees.

Why do Jews celebrate the New Year for trees? Trees are exemplary in many ways. If your roots aren't deep like a cedar's, then you easily wither. When you're flexible like a date palm, you can survive strong winds, the rough times in life. Trees only do good - they give shade, fruit, prevent soil erosion, and shelter animals and birds. In survival school back in my regular army days, a carob tree was my home for three days up in the mountains of the Galilee. Not only did it provide me with shade, shelter, and a good hideout, it fed me as well. We humans should imitate trees.

In case you haven't noticed, I love trees. My major at the College of Agriculture at UM College Park was deciduous orchards. When I was a farmer, I planted thousands of trees in the foothills of the Shomron ridge and in the Golan, Negev, and Sharon Valley as well.

Now, dearest brothers and sisters, I have presents in advance for each of you in honor of Tu B'Shvat:

For women: The best face cream in the world - take a ripe avocado, peel the skin and take out the pit, mash it in a dish and add a squeeze of lemon juice (natural only, no substitutes). You now have the best facial treatment in the world. Let it sit for half an hour while you're reading your favorite book or listening to a relaxing CD, and wash it off. Your face will now be young, radiant, and replenished with an abundance of vitamin B6, which retards aging and keeps your skin soft and smooth.

For men: Need a super charge of energy before an important meeting, on the tennis court, or at the office? No time to eat? Put down the junk food! Take a dried date, open it up, remove the pit, and check it for worms. Insert a whole toasted almond, and close it like a sandwich. You now have a tasty snack with readily available high quality carbohydrates and protein to supercharge your system.

For Kids: The Brody's have a dynamite natural non-chocolate chocolate spread: Take a cup (180 cc)of organic whole-seed tehina (sesame paste), add a heaping tablespoon of organic carob powder and four tablespoons of honey. Mix all the ingredients together. You get a fantastic spread that's both super-healthy and tasty. Instead of other sweets, use this spread on bread like you would peanut butter or chocolate spread.