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The gift of learning how to wait

שלושה סימני שאלה
When I got up in the morning several days ago, I noticed a WhastApp message that had been sent at 2:17 a.m. I quickly checked to see what it was all about. "Shalom Sivan, I need a video greeting for my youth movement contingent. Is there any chance you can do this?"
First of all, I was relieved that this was not an emergency matter. But then at 6:55 I received an additional message from the same source: "???" Not one question mark, but three.
I have not come here to complain about the "state of our youth" since we are really all like this. I hear numerous stories of this kind regarding people of all ages and professions. We are living in an era where everything is constantly accessible, from information to human beings. So if it's possible to order a couch or a food item at three o'clock in the morning, there is no reason not to call anyone we choose at such an hour. If I want something, I deserve it here and now.
This is a destructive mindset and affects every area of life, from studying and the learning process to human relationships. And it is impossible to sustain this way of thinking since not everything we want is instantly available. This may have become our greatest challenge: to develop a capacity for patience and the ability to wait, to understand that what happens gradually imparts meaning, to learn to run marathons, not only sprints.
Tu Bishvat begins this evening. It is a gift that teaches us how to wait. It is a day that we do not celebrate a tree's fruit that eventually forms or the adornment of its flowers, but the rising of the tree's sap that signals the beginning of a slow process that eventually leads to our harvest of a sweet crop. "Because a human being is a tree of the field." Tu Bishvat is a wonderful opportunity to internalize nature's message of slow but certain growth as we contemplate what happens in the trees around us.


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