LIFELONG LEARNING FOR JEWISH WOMEN

Lessons from the Trees | ט״ו בשבט תשפ״א

We know that in ארץ ישראל (Israel) they are already celebrating the coming of spring because ט״ו בשבט (Tu B’Shvat) has arrived, and as the children’s song goes in Israel “ט״ו בשבט הגיע חג לאילנו.”

 

Many years ago, I heard a משל mashal by the Ramban from Rabbi YY Jacobson with a relevant and powerful message at any time, but particularly for us today.   This (mashal) has such a relevant and powerful message for all times, but especially for us.  The Ramban starts by describing trees in the summer.  They have beautiful leaves, sometimes multi-colored.  They spread and bring shade and cool us on the hottest of days.  It’s an inspiring season to watch in the growth of the tree.  As the fall descends, we begin to see the leaves turn different colors.  As beautiful as they are, the leaves very soon begin to fall off.  The leaves begin to ask: “What is going to happen to the tree?  How is the tree going to survive without me?  Poor tree.”  The Ramban continues:  The leaves don’t know it, but in another few months, the tree is going to sprout new buds that will blossom into new leaves.  Nothing is going to happen to the tree. It will be beautiful next spring.  To the leaf that was fearful of the future of the tree, he says, “Do not worry about the tree.  It has been standing for so many years, it will continue to stand.  You leaf, you make sure that you stay attached; that is your job. “ 

 

I hope that you will extrapolate your own messages from the Ramban’s משל.  My adaptation of what Rabbi Jacobson suggested in his talk is this:  Much conversation has circulated since the onset of Covid about what the world is going to look like once it is done.  Are we ever going to give someone a hug again as before?  What will businesses look like?  Will we have Shabbos guests again?  Simchas?  

 

One thing is for sure.  Hash-m’s world is moving towards its goal since the creation of the world.  Hash-m’s plan is not changing.  Everything that happens is part of H-s Master Plan.  Moshiach is coming, because that is H-s Mission Statement.  We have to make sure that we hold on, that our families hold on as best as we can.  We must continue to be strengthened in our בטחון (bitachon).  Our decisions need to be in synch with acts and deeds of goodness and kindness and align ourselves with that mission.  

 

 May we all meet in ארץ ישראל (Israel) to enjoy the Tu B’Shvat fruit together with Moshiach’s speedy arrival!