Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
After an entire year isolating at home, without going out for fun or entertainment, the simplest attraction pulled us outside. The grown ups, just like the kids, frolicked in the snow. Even during TV
news broadcasts, they left the corona and the elections and were obsessed with the wonderful sights of snow. Now is the perfect time to recall two verses from the Tanach that are concerned with snow and its meaning for us.
“If your sins prove to be like scarlet, they will become white as snow.” In this verse, the prophet Isaiah explains that sins are like scarlet, but they can become as white and pure as shining snow, like the sparkling white snow that many Israelis are seeing now from their windows. It’s possible. There is tikkun (rectification) in life and it’s always possible that v’nehafoch hu (everything will flip) as it does in the Purim story. Even if the situation appears to be difficult and bleak, it’s possible to purify ourselves, to begin anew on a blank page as white as snow.
“Her household will not fear the snow because everyone is dressed in scarlet.” This verse is part of “Woman of Valor,” the song that is sung on Shabbat evening to the mother of the family. She does not fear the coldness of the snow that is flying around wildly outside, because all of those in her household are dressed in scarlet cloth that keeps them warm. Our commentators explain that the verse is not only speaking of physical clothing to protect against stormy winds. Rather, the verse is also meant to describe the cloak of domestic peace that the Woman of Valor wraps around her home, a cloak of warmth and love in which she dresses her children to cope with the challenges and storms of life. It appears to me that this year this verse describes many mothers.
Have a pleasant snow day.