Learning From The Trees

Tonight we celebrate the holiday of Tu B’Shevat.  Literally, Tu B’Shevat means the 15th day of the month of Shevat.  This day has been deemed the “New Year of Trees” because it is on this day that the earliest blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.   It is also on Tu B’Shevat that the trees of Israel stop absorbing water from the ground and begin to draw nourishment from their sap.  For our ancestors, who were required to ritually offer (tithe) a certain portion of the fruit they received from trees to God, the fruit that had blossomed prior to the 15th of Shevat was not be used as tithe for fruit which blossomed after that date. What fruit we tithe, when trees start to bear fruit, and when trees begin to draw from their sap – these are…

Last week, as I encouraged us all to appreciate the blessings that came with the unusual cold weather, I wrote the following: “Unlike other geographical regions of our…

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Please consider making a donation as I run the A1A Half Marathon in honor of my synagogue, Ramat Shalom.  Donations are being accepted here: http://www.active.com/donate/irunwalk4ramatshalom/rabbiandrew.  Your generosity will…

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