Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
A teacher once told me that there are four words, in her opinion, which characterize the times in which we live: "I," "here," "now," and "everything." That's why Tu Bishvat, which begins this evening, is one of the most important days of the year: it stands in opposition to these four words. This festival of trees is celebrated not in spring but in winter. Not when everything is already blooming and ripening, but at a time in which we do not yet see flowers or fruits. We are not getting everything here and now, but instead are investing in the future. At the moment we can only prepare the ground, plant, water, believe, hope, and wait.
Such contemplation of nature reminds us that there are slow and hidden processes in life, that there is development of things beneath the surface, that we do not see everything that happens, and therefore we need to continue to slowly nurture and gird ourselves with patience. This is true in the education of children, in marriage, in every meaningful area of study. This is especially true during the year of the corona, in which we went indoors into a kind of hibernation or dormancy, from which – we can only wish – good things will grow and develop. In a generation in which we get nervous after five seconds if we do not see two blue check marks on our Whatsapp message, we get a reminder once a year regarding the most important necessities: restraint, perseverance, investment, dedication. All of these, in the end, bring positive results and ripe fruits.
Happy Tu Bishvat.