Tree, O Tree, with what shall I bless you?

…To what may this be compared?

To a man who was journeying in the desert; he was hungry, weary and thirsty and he lighted upon a tree the fruits of which were sweet, its shade pleasant, and a stream of water flowing beneath it; he ate of its fruits, drank of the water, and rested under its shade. When he was about to continue his journey, he said:

Tree, O Tree, with what shall I bless you? Shall I say to you, ‘May thy fruits be sweet’? They are sweet already; that thy shade be pleasant? It is already pleasant; that a stream of water may flow beneath thee? A stream of water flows already beneath thee; therefore [I say], ‘May it be [God’s] will that all the shoots taken from you be like you!’.

(TA’ANIS 5-6)


This story is a quote from the Gemara. It is presented as part of a conversation between two Amoraim.
Rabbi Yitzchak and Rabbi Nachman met. Before they parted, Rabbi Nachman said to   Rabbi Yitzchak: Bless me!
Rabbi Yitzchak replied: I will tell you a parable – and he told him the parable we brought above.
When he finished his parable, he added:

So also with you. With what shall I bless you? With [the knowledge of the Torah?] You already possess [knowledge of the Torah]. With riches? You have riches already. With children? You have children already. Hence [I say], ‘May it be [God’s] will that your offspring be like you’.