Wherever you are in your day or your week, take a moment to look outside and appreciate something growing. And then to remember that you are growing too. The only stasis in this universe is change. To be alive is to be growing. We humbly learn this from the trees in their rooted stability, their ability to let go and transform.
In the words of my rabbi and teacher Sharon Cohen Anisfeld,
"This Shabbat, two moments converge on our sacred calendar – the holiday of Tu b’Shvat, on which we celebrate the new year for trees, and Shabbat Shirah, on which we chant the Song of the Sea. These two moments call out to us with a deep and important reminder: the possibility of renewal is everywhere, at all times."
For those looking for more Torah on Tu B'shevat, here is a teaching from one of my teachers, Rabbi Nehemia Polen.
Now more than ever, we gift each other and ourselves, presence, community and connection. Not in spite of our current circumstances, but specifically because of them. Sacred time is a refuge from the deluge of injustice; it is a source of both resilience and resistance to despair.
From Standing Rock to Flint, MI, we know that racism and environmental injustice are deeply linked. In this epically important moment, we send our love and prayers to Standing Rock. On this Shabbat Shira, we will be singing Water Heal My Soul because #WaterIsLife.
For those who are able, I look forward to singing and learning tonight.
6:30 pm - Services
7:45 - Dinner - POTLUCK!
8:15 - Tu B'Shevat Seder with Jewish Farm School and Repair the World
Tonight is also opening night for Curio's new show. To be good neighbors and housemates, we ask that no one be in the lobby upstairs or the black box after 7:45 pm. They have reviewers at their performance!
Shabbat Shalom to all,
Rabbi Ari Lev