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Tu Bishvat – Seven Species: Olive

“But I am like an ever-fresh olive tree in the House of God.” (Psalms 52:10)  I am the opposite of a wicked person, of whom the psalmist said earlier in this psalm, “He loves evil more than good.”  The wicked person likes to take things that are good and turn them into evil.

I take the opposite approach. I am similar to the olive, which begins as bitter and inedible, yet we can draw out its oil and make something delicious and good. (Noam Eliezer)

The olive represents our ability to take things that appear to be bad and transform them into good. We can find the good even in painful experiences. We can transform our sins into merit through Teshuva. We can cut through barriers in order to find truth.

The olive, one of the seven species of Israel, reminds us that on Tu Bishvat we should focus on the difficult challenges of the past year and how we were ablt to find some good in them.

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