It’s the last Thursday of January, can you believe it?! One month down, eleven more to go. This first month was merry-go-sorry, a continuation of 2020, it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the year goes. I’m remaining hopeful.
Happy Tu B’Shevat! It’s the Jewish New Year of the Trees! What’s the significance of this? It has to do with the rainy season in Israel, which commences with the festival of Sukkot. It takes four months for the rains to saturate the soil, nurture the trees and coax them into producing fruit. This is important to know if you are planning to give your tithes of fruits, as is done in the Land of Israel, because the required tithes vary from year to year. It’s also important if you are a tree and looking for something to celebrate.
We humans can also celebrate along with the trees. After all, the Torah says, “Man is a tree of the field.” We are nurtured by deep roots, as far back as Abraham and Sarah; we reach upwards to the heavens while standing firmly on the ground; and when we do all this right, we produce fruits that benefit the world—namely, our good deeds.
I’m thankful for my Jewish groups. Last Friday I met up with Mallory and she gave me a box to celebrate. I was also given a succulent to grow. After I met up with Mallory, I walked down to the OCJAC and they left my Shabbox for me. Since I work, I couldn’t make the meet-up before sundown. The Rabbi would have dropped it off for me, but I told him I’d pick it up later. He left it on the door for me and I was verklempt with his kindness.
I’m also thankful for friends and family. What are you thankful for today?