Tu Bishvat 14
According to the Ba’al Shem Tov, all growth requires three stages: Hachna’a –humility, Havdala – Separation, and Hamtakah – Sweetening.
Humility allows us to accept new ideas. It permits us to change. Humility is the ground in which we will plant our tree. We rip out all the old that can block future growth.
Separation is the ability to separate and make distinctions between things after the seed has been planted. The fruit goes through numerous stages as it grows from a bud into a full luscious fruit. We must learn to separate what is nurturing us in a healthful way from that which may be limiting our future growth.
The sweetening is when we can finally enjoy the fruit of all our efforts. We recite a blessing over the tree, “Pri Ha’eitz”, the fruit of the Tree, we connect all the different parts back together and experience the sweetness. (Machberes Avodas Hashem)