On Tu B’Shvat the source of potential growth in all spheres of life awakens. The tree in the field stands bare exposed to cold, wind, and rain. The prospect of sprouting buds and flowering blossoms seems far from possible but it is on this wintry and dormant day that a new life force is surging forth. We celebrate Tu B’Shvat for the first day of this process that is under way. Soon the trees will be adorned with leaves and fruit. It a day of blessings on the bounty of the Land and when blessing this abundance, Hashem in return pours down the plenty and blesses us back.
When we sow, till plant and reap (not on a shmita year), we can easily get mixed up and say, “I have worked so hard! This is my doing- my accomplishment!” One must know that man is a vessel through which Hashem brings down and bestows upon the world all of its affluence. Tu B’shvat is also an analogy to the redemptive process that begins at the darkest hour of Jewish History. The trees have shredded their leaves and everything is dormant which creates an atmosphere of hopelessness. Suddenly spring bursts forth with all of its splendor. Our generation has had the amazing merit to witness the Hatchalta Hageula(beginning of redemption) From the ashes of the Holocaust we have returned home and are eating from the fruits of the land. May Hashem open up our eyes to see and focus on the goodness of the Israel and may it continue to grow and prosper!
Leah Goldsmith Itamar