The Yucca’s Gone, But We Can Still Tell the Story

Our anniversary yucca

A yucca plant used to grow in Jamaica Plain

This yucca plant used to mysteriously bloom once a year on the first of July. It was blooming when we moved into our house 17 years ago today.

If you want to know more about this usual plant, I provided some background in one of my first blog posts.

We took down this yucca plant last year when we relandscaped our front yard, but we still have the photos, and the reminder that this is the anniversary of when we moved in.

A closeup shot of the yucca

The yucca has beautiful flowers.

The fact that we don’t have the plant anymore but it is still part of our anniversary reminds me of one of my favorite stories from Passover, which goes as follows:

The Baal Shem Tov used to go to a certain place in the woods and light a fire and pray when he was faced with an especially difficult task, and it was done.

His successor followed his example and went to the same place, but said: “The fire we can no longer light, but we can still say the prayer.” And what he asked was done, too.

Another generation passed, and Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sassov went to the woods and said: “The fire we can no longer light, the prayer we no longer know, all we know is the place in the woods, and that will have to be enough.”

And it was enough.

In the fourth generation, Rabbi Israel of Rishin stayed at home and said: “The fire we can no longer light, the prayer we no longer know, nor do we know the place. All we can do is tell the story.”

And that, too, proved sufficient.

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