Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

The story of the apple tree

One of my favorite Rosh Hashanah stories that I tell to the residents in the Orlando area senior living facilities is about an apple tree that is growing in a forest. The apple tree gazes up at the night sky each evening and sees the stars that appear to be sitting on the branches of the other trees in the forest. She begs God to place stars on her branches as well and seems to get the cold shoulder time after time. In her frustration from being denied the stars, she begins to shake furiously back and forth, which causes an apple to fall and split open. She is astonished to see, right in the middle of the apple, a star as plain as could be. God taught her that the star has been within her all along, she just had to look inside to discover what she was looking for.

When I cut open an apple after telling this story, I make sure to cut it along its belly, not stem up as we usually do and, to their surprise and amazement, they see the star. I love seeing the delight on their faces as they, too learn how to look inside for the things we think we are missing. With wishes for a Happy, Healthy, and Peaceful New Year.

Susan Bernstein

Senior program Director

Jewish Pavilion


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