Tu B'hevat & Shabbos Shira
Last Shabbos was such a special day - a triple-header of spiritual energy for us to bring into this week!
We celebrated the ever holy and peaceful Sabbath and Tu B'Shevat, the New Year of the Trees, plus, it was Shabbos Shira, the Sabbath of Song.
Why is it called the Sabbath of Song?
The Torah portion for the week contains the song that Moshe and the Jewish people sang after Hashem saved them from the Egyptians in the Sea of Reeds. Everyone sang this song – even the little babies!
The sea split miraculously, allowing the Jews to walk through on dry land, but that’s not all – there were many, many miracles!
Not only was the sea bed dry, but the walls of the sea were sweet water, vegetation grew on the ground for the animals to eat, and fruit trees grew miraculously so that the mothers could feed their hungry children.
But none of these miracles took place until one very important thing happened. Can you guess what it was?
The Jews took action.
They were afraid.
But it wasn’t until a courageous person named Nachshon ben Aminadov took his faith and walked into the sea until the water was up to his nose, that G-d split the sea.
So, that’s the first way to grow a miracle –
Put your faith into action!
Sometimes it takes the courageous action of just one single person to open the way for all.
The second way to grow a miracle is with a Song of Gratitude.
When they were crossing the sea, can you imagine how frightened the children were by the strange sights and sounds and the enemy chasing after them?
Do you know who calmed them down?
The birds sang to the children and in gratitude, the children fed fruit to the birds that they plucked from the miraculous trees that grew up in the sea. To this day, it is one of our special customs for the children to feed the birds just before Shabbos Shira to continue to show their gratitude.
It’s not only that miracles cause us to feel grateful – expressing our gratitude to G-d creates even more miracles!
And the third way to grow a miracle?
On a mystical level, the fruit of the trees is, in many ways, the most important part of the tree, because that is what benefits others.
The fruit represents what we do that helps and benefits others, the Mitzvahs that bring pleasure to G-d and to the world.
Just as the fruit contains the seed that creates more trees, we can help others see the pleasure and sweetness of Torah and mitzvahs, too.
By using our special strengths and talents to bring more good into the world. Then the holy orchard that we're planting in this world will continue to flourish with the pleasant fruits of our mitzvahs for all to enjoy.
(Thanks to our cousin Rabbi Yosef Levin for help with these thoughts!)
So, my friend, now it's your turn.
Please comment below and tell me what miracle you would like to grow.
What seeds of action will you plant to grow your miracle?
In your meditation today, ask yourself:
Am I growing?
Am I tending to my holy orchard?
What are the qualities of the fruits on my tree?
How can I perfect myself?
How can I reach beyond myself to do a little more
than I've ever done before?
And how can I create a miracle today with my faith, gratitude, and courageously creative acts of goodness and kindness?
Remember the 3 ways to grow a miracle in your life:
--action rooted in faith
--using your creative talents and strengths to encourage others
My Blessing to You