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Chabad Turns Sandy-Damaged Tree into Art

Updated: Event and art instillation inspired by Hurricane Sandy and the Jewish New Year for trees.

The Chabad Jewish Center in Basking Ridge invited visitors on Sunday, Jan. 26, celebrate Tu B'Shvat, the New Year for Trees, which will include an art installation made from a tree felled by Hurricane Sandy, at Back to Nature Home & Garden center off Valley Road in Basking Ridge.

Tu B'Shvat marks the beginning of the new growth of trees and vegetation following the winter hibernation in Israel, as well as a time for personal growth, said Rabbi Yitzchok Moully from Chabad.

About 100 children from Chabad attended the event, and posted prayers on the tree installation, Moully said on Monday. He said the tree is due to remain at Back to Nature for a week, and then will be moved back to Chabad, located across the street on Valley Road.

From noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, visitors of all ages at the celebration were encouraged to write a meditation, a prayer, or a wish for a new beginning and hang it on the roots of the tree, "exploring the possibility of rebirth, even out of the destruction of Sandy," Moully said.

Moully said he found a stump from a tree destroyed by Sandy last fall and is presenting it as a piece of art inspired by the concept of regrowth from Tu B'Shvat.

"In the face of the destruction of Hurricane Sandy can there be is there an opportunity for our rebirth and regrowth?" Moully asked in announcing the event. He said the holiday of Tu B'Shvat "tells us there is always a chance for a new beginning."

"Nature Vs. Nature" is sponsored by the Chabad Jewish Center of Basking Ridge and Back to Nature. It will be on display and open to the public at Back to Nature at 3055 Valley Road.

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