Tu biSh’vat and the power of nature


Tu biSh’vat, the birthday of the trees, will be observed this Sunday night, just as our region is being blanketed with snow.  On Tu biSh’vat, we honor the many gifts that trees and the natural world give to us and the way they enrich our lives.  But, especially as we face the oncoming storm this Shabbat, we can’t forget to also acknowledge the awesome power that the natural world holds over us.  It is we who must alter our lives to deal with what the natural world provides us, not the other way around, whether we are encountering storm or harvest, harshness or beauty.  We depend on nature at least as much it depends on us.  As we face dire issues like climate change that affect all life on this planet, we must learn to respect the power of the earth and change our actions accordingly.  Only then can the promise of the gifts nature provides be fulfilled through us.