A different Tu (1) BiShvat
Your BiShvat - the 15th of the Hebrew Month of Shvat - celebrates ′′ the New Year of Trees ", i.e. the renewal of the natural cycle in the Land of Israel, represented by the blossoming, in the middle of Israeli winter, of the shkedia - the almond -. This is a date of great joy in Medinat Israel, when Israeli children and young people turn en masse to plant trees throughout and across the Land of Israel - the most forested country of Israel world, with an afforestation index far above local timber consumption -. Many families also celebrate the Seder of Tu Bishvat, something similar to the Pesak Seder, with blessings, drink of white and red wine, and consumption of dried fruits of different types (nuts, figs, grape raisins and so many others), near the arrival of spring and its fresh fruits.
The joy of this celebration, in this 5781, was overshadowed by the greatest pandemic that the State of Israel and the world had all suffered in its modern history - in exactly one century. A tragedy that has caused the loss of more than 2 million human beings, the disease of nearly 100 million (more than 53 million of them fully recovered), tens of millions of jobs lost, extended poverty and deep lockdown effects (forced lockdown) on issues not yet studied properly-depression, cognitive deterioration and more. Israel and the world grieved in mourning, in a legitimate deep grief over the loss of human life and the general breakdown.
Together with so much pain, we have all witnessed, each in different ways, countless expressions of concern and mutual aid - along with several proposals for concrete actions taken around the world; demonstrations of true solidarity, aimed at repairing the repairable and to accept the irreversible - together, as a people, and as a humanity. Many members and leaders of our Macabi carried out our macabe values, building that possible to be rebuilt, and honoring the mourning of the irreparable loss of human life.
An allegorical and very appropriate midrash to this celebration of Tu Bishvat in times of pandemic eloquently describes the spirit of mutual responsibility and solidarity that was made present in this year of distress. The midrash refers to walnuts - one of the most distinctive fruits of this celebration -, explaining the verse of Singing ′′ To the Orchard of Walnuts I descended..." (2) as follows:
′′ I descended into the nut garden..."-like with the nuts, if someone moves one of the place where they are stacked, they all move and turn, one after another. The same is true for Israel: if one of its members is beaten, everyone is suffering. (3)
The entire people of Israel and all humanity felt deeply affected by the deaths of so many wonderful men and women. We all feel the coup - ′′ If one of its members gets hit, they all suffer ". This Tu Bishvat 5781 poses, then, challenges different than those of the seven decades of permanent growth after World War II | and of the Shoah that devastated the West and ended the richest of our people - this Tu BiShvat, in particular, coincides with International Holocaust Reminder Day. The first challenge is to repair our souls in the face of the disappearance of so many well-ravaged beings by the pandemic. The second is the great challenge of restoration, rebuilding, and returning green in our stocks - the symbol of life itself. This year we will celebrate this Tu Bishvat with a heavy heart, on the one hand, but also with the renewed mission to revere the world, giving back hope, joy, solidarity; understanding our interference, our interdependence; the need to make the commitment we have to others - to everyone else.
May God let the sweetness of the fruits we consume in this Tu BiShvat be the augur of hope, joy and a better future for all a humanity so needy of light these days still horrific.
God wants us to fruit in all areas of our action.
And may God let us in this Your Bishvat plant in our souls the renewed commitment to the Land of Israel and the State it holds, creating a present full of the most varied, rich, challenging and inspiring fruits for our generation and all future of our people.
Your Bishvat Saméaj!
Jazak ve ' ematz!
RABINO CARLOS A. TAPIERO
Vice-Director General & Director of Education
Macabi World Union
(1) The name Your BiShvat is actually a Hebrew calendar date: 15th of Shvat Month. In the Hebrew alphabet there is a correlation between the letters and the numbers they represent. Number 11, for example, is a compound of the letter Yud (10) and the Alef (1). Number 15 is conformed to the letters Tet (9) and Vav (6 ) - giving us the syllable we read as ′′ YOU -. No letters Yud (10) and Hey (5) were used, since their conjunction is one of God's names - NOW -.
(2) Singing VI, 11.
(3) Shir HaShirim Raba VI, 26.