Tu B'Shvat and Jewish Symbiosis

By Timna Mekaiten, Federation's Community Shlicha

Shalom to all!

I can’t believe how fast time goes by. February means four months left of my Shlichut, and February also means Tu B’Shvat is here!

Tu B’shvat is one of four Jewish heads of the year, according to the Bible. Originally the holiday was just the new tax year for the Israelites, but since the currency at that time was mostly produce, the connection to nature was always there.

Throughout the years, Tu B’shvat changed big time and nowadays, Tu B’shvat is the birthday of the trees, the celebration of nature at its glory.

Tu B’shvat reminds us that we are all part of creation, and a tree or a flower is as important as a person. If one has a birthday commemoration, the other should have it too. I mean, what are we without trees, which give us air, food and shade?  The growth of the earth means the growth of us.

An interesting thing about nature is that just like us, it works in communities. Each area has their song; flowers use the tree’s shade, the bee helps by spreading pollen, and each of the plants take water from their surroundings. These small communities create different environments for different plants and animals, different weather and atmosphere.

But all these communities are bonded, creating one holistic unit: nature, creation. They rely on each other, complete each other, help each other, and that is why it is just…perfect.

We are creation too. And we too work in communities that create one unit: the Jewish nation. But do we remember that?  Do we understand the delicate dependency we have on each other?

People often distance themselves from nature, thinking nature works alone or that the relationship with nature is of “give and take.” But we are one. And only together we can achieve balance.

So as we celebrate nature and creation, let’s remember we are a part of it. Let’s go back to our roots and get deeper into the meaning of a communal life, co-dependence and true symbiosis.

This year’s Super Sunday is this coming Sunday, February 8th. The Jewish Federation gives and sponsors so many different programs and agencies – inside our community and out. So please find the time to join us and volunteer, or answer the call on Sunday with an open heart, remembering how we are all one big living organism who lives because of and for the other.

I wish you all growth in your personal lives, with your families, friends and yourselves.

PS: Don’t forget about my events! Read about them here.



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