Pass the Fruit Please!

5 Feb

You might think that a Jewish festival occurring in the middle of the winter would be a cold event.  Not here in Jerusalem.  Our Tu b’Shvat seder took place on a warm winter day, one of quite a few that we have experienced lately.  There’s something very uplifting about Tu b’Shvat.  The emphasis on renewal and regeneration, celebrated over four cups of wine and the fruits of Israel puts a positive spin on the entire winter.  Moreover, the idea that growth begins from “less than zero,” is a very powerful concept.  When the first shoots of the new year push their heads up from underground this month, they are not in a friendly environment.  The ground has not yet thawed and the sun is not generally shining; it’s the depth of winter.  The corollary in human experience is that real growth does not necessarily begin from a zero.  It may begin from adversity, from less than comfortable circumstances.  From the adversity is born greatness.  On another level, we experience renewal and rejuvenation not only every year, but every day.  That is the subject of our current Tefila Tip, that you can read at  Getting up in the morning is not simple, and we need a high light from above to launch our daily routine.  For deeper analysis of Jewish prayer and meditation, check out and finally to get a perspective on spiritual life in Jerusalem, go to  Happy Tu b’Shvat!

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