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Celebrate: It’s the Months of Shevat!

01/09/2024 11:25:20 AM

Jan9

Rabbi Rudin

This month’s, (the Hebrew month of Shevat (January/February)) zodiac sign is Aquarius.  In Hebrew it’s called by the more prosaic name of דלי D’li- which literally means a bucket, water container or vessel.

 

Part of the meaning is purely geographical: in the Land of Israel, most of the year’s rain has fallen by now.  The cisterns and wells are full and, thank G-d, the level of Yam Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee, is basically at full capacity after years of drought.

 

On a spiritual level, the month of Shevat, which celebrates the beginning of the growing season, is an invitation to celebrate abundance, to invoke gratitude and to become ever more mindful of the incredible blessings that are present in our lives.

 

Tu Bishvat, which falls in the middle of the month, is a vehicle for this celebration of blessing: both from the natural world, source of nurturance, medicines, beauty and the very air we breathe and water we drink, and the community and family that are the wellspring of our lives.

 

And beyond all these, the natural and human worlds, we are invited to gratitude to the Source of Being.  To be mindful for even a moment- to taste of the fruit that we eat, to, treasure the touch of one we love, appreciate the incredible sky-show of sunrise and sunset - all of these are the message of Shevat, the month of the water-carrier, the vessel of blessing.

 

And together with this, to never forget those deprived of their freedom, their families and loved ones: ninety one days have passed since the attacks on Simchat Torah and one hundred thirty six men, women and children are still head in unparalleled cruelty in the tunnels of Gaza.  Let our joy as we celebrate Tu Bishvat not be full until we know that our advocacy and caring have been fulfilled by their liberation as well.  See a reminder here.

 

As an act of advocacy, send an email letter to the White House right now to urge the President to continue to work for the freedom of the hostages- at least eight of whom are American citizens.  Finally, be sure to purchase Jewish National Fund trees to help Israel and our synagogue!

Happy Rosh Chodesh Shevat!

Thu, February 22 2024 13 Adar I 5784