Why Do Leaves Fall? Two Explanations.


One: from an exhibit at Phipps Conservatory:
	”A tree’s roots, branches and twigs can survive
  freezing temperatures, but
  most leaves are not so tough.
	“On a broadleaf tree, like a maple or a birch,
  the tender thin leaves are made up of cells filled with water.
  Sap will freeze in winter. 
	“Any plant tissue unable to live through the winter
  must be sealed off and shed
  to ensure the tree’s survival.
	“As sunlight decreases in autumn, the veins
  that carry sap into and out of a leaf
  gradually close.
	“A layer of cells, called
  			the separation layer
  forms at the base of the leaf stem.
	“When this layer is complete, the leaf
is separated from the tissue that connects
	to the branch
			and it falls.”
	
Two: from the Amidah in Congregation Bet Tikvah’s Siddur:
	“Blessed are You, Adonai, creating the universe in this eternal moment;
spring, morning, planets are born, warmth returns to earth and streams thaw and
trickle; grasses burst through rocks, tender springs bend in warm zephyrs.  Seeds
sprout, the newborn cries, civilizations have their genesis.
	“Blessed are You, Adonai, sustaining the universe in this eternal moment;
summer, noon, celestial bodies course through your heavens, societies flourish,
lush gardens thrive and mature; Your children grow, wounds heal.
	“Blessed are You, Adonai, dissolving the universe in this eternal moment;
autumn-winter, evening, leaves fall and plants decay, twigs become brittle.  Your
children die and return to dust.”
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