by Mordechai Rosen
In our Sunday Talmud class we learned the story of Choni the Circle Maker (in tractate Taanit) and how he once encountered an older man planting a carob tree. That surprised him because carob trees (at least back then) took a very long time to bear fruit. But the man told him, that just as his ancestors planted carob trees for him, he is planting carob trees for his children.
I think this story symbolizes for us the importance of traditions, the things that get passed on from one generation to the next. Of course, the Jewish people have many traditions, each generation keeps passing it on to the next generation. But families also have traditions, maybe its about the food you eat together on the holidays or hikes or walks you take together on weekends, whatever the tradition, it is important that we pass along the traditions we got from our families before us.
Like the older man who planted the carob tree. He was passing along what he received from his family before him to ensure that it would be there and be fruitful for his descendants.