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Tu Bishvat: Perek Shirah – The Date Palm

The date palm sings, ““The righteous person shall flower like a date palm and grow tall like a cedar of Lebanon.” The Midrash (Tanchumah Lech Lecha #5) teaches, “Why are the righteous compared to a date palm and a cedar tree? To tell you that you will find that generally trees cannot be seen from afar, since they are too short. However, because the date palm and the cedar tree are taller than all other trees, they can be seen from a distance.

Everyone who stands beneath them raises their eyes to behold their height.

Therefore the righteous are compared to a date palm and a cedar tree for the Holy One, Blessed is He, raises them up high in the world.

Another reason: You will find that as other trees age, they are trimmed and their cutting is replanted, and they grow again. But if the cedar and date palm are trimmed, their cutting will not rise to their status in height only through many years of hard work. Likewise, if  a righteous man perishes from the world, who can take over his place immediately, for only after many years can this be accomplished. Therefore, “A righteous man will flourish like a date palm.”

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