As I write this on a late January day, the inches of snow and ice have mostly melted and the near 50 degree temperatures are tempting me outside after the crazy cold and ongoing snow. It’s not quite the right weather for this time of year, but the draw of spring gives me hope for the turning season somewhere ahead. Therefore I am looking forward to our Tu B’shvat Seder, both for its promise of spring and new growth and the wonderful feeling of community it always engenders. Each year as I sing with Adam and the congregation, I forget my own troubles and allow myself to simply be with all of you.
It’s an interesting evolution from a date that had early significance simply for calculating the age of the trees for tithing. Trees were not harvested for the first few years in order to allow them to mature. The fact that a fiscal marker became a celebration over time speaks to both the need of humans to find reasons to celebrate and look to the future, and the ability of Jews to adapt and change our practices as circumstances evolve. Therein is the heart of our own humanistic practice, finding what is right for us as secular Jews in the modern world. I look forward to seeing you
at Tu B’shvat and other upcoming events.