The Jewish Fairy Book (Gerald Friedlander)/Abraham's Tree



FROM the time when the Holy One told Abraham to leave his father's house in Ur of the Chaldees, he planted the seed of a tree in every place where he stayed. In vain was all his labor. The seed never took root and nothing grew. At last he came to the Holy Land. Here also he planted the seed, and strange to say, not only did the seed take root but the most beautiful tree ever seen by men grew in Abraham's garden. Its green foliage was the talk of the land. Never before had such leaves been seen. Nor was this all. The fruit of this tree was the sweetest ever tasted. Moreover its blossoms and fruit were to be seen in summer and winter alike.

Abraham made it known throughout the land that this wonderful tree was for the benefit of all the children of men. When the weary traveler, scorched by the glare of the sun, came to sit beneath the boughs of Abraham's tree, he immediately felt refreshed. The shade cast by the tree was as cool as a mountain stream. The fragrance of the fruit was so marvelous that the thirsty and hungry who came near to it needed neither drink nor food. This was the good fortune of all who believed in God. If, however, some one came near the tree and refused to believe in the Holy One, the wonderful tree seemed to be about to wither. The shade was no longer cool, the fragrance ceased to be refreshing. Then Abraham would come and teach the disbeliever that there was one God in Heaven and on earth, ever near to all who seek Him in truth. When at last the guest of Abraham had found the truth and looked up to the heavens with faith in his heart, lo! the tree was beautiful again in all its glory. The birds hastened to sit on its branches and to join in the hymn of praise to the Lord of the world.

Jalkub Chadash, 14a.