It has been suggested that the celebration of the trees seems premature on Tu Bishvat - we would expect to celebrate in the springtime when trees bear fruit! And yet the celebration is now, a moment in which seeds are planted. With Martin Luther King Junior Day on Monday, we are reminded that seeds planted, even well-nourished, demand attention if they are to truly bear fruit.
So too do we celebrate every beginning. The incalculable number of journeys in which we, as a shul, are engaged testifies to the power of what planting a seed can accomplish. Our community is so precious, so textured - the multi-generational learning, the deep social activism, our diverse Zionism, the volunteerism that continues to define us, the inter-religious relationships each demonstrate a worthy journey, planted at some earlier point.
Twenty-one years ago, a sacred seed was planted. We are the flourishing of that seed. Netivot Shalom has been blessed by leaders who have tended to our growth, our transplanting, making sure we had solid roots and supported branches. On February 27th, our community will recognize the past presidents of CNS: Celia Concus, George Gidal, Claudia Valas, Art Braufman, Ken Schnur, Pauline Moreno, Debbie Graudenz, Mark Priven, Carol Cunradi, Joe Meresman, and Jeff Rosenbloom. It is part and parcel of who we are as a community that we recognize the Nedivut, the Generosity of Spirit, that is required and has been so consistently modeled by our presidents. We each belong at this celebration, marking time and sharing gratitude. Please join me at the CNS Annual Gala on February 27th.
RSVP to Rachel at email@example.com that you will take your place strengthening your community with your presence. And, if you are able, please consider making a gift to Netivot Shalom in honor of our past presidents. While we will never value financial support higher than the gift of every member's heart, we cannot be strong without your help. We need you so that we can continue becoming the shul we are supposed to be. (Click here to place an Ad in the Gala tribute Journal.)
May our planet become just a bit greener, just a bit healthier, just a bit holier.
And may Tu Bishvat awaken our awareness that seeds require our care.
I had a beautiful day today. I stood with my sister, a passionate rabbi serving the U.S. Navy as a chaplain, at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. We remembered our grandfather of blessed memory, who fought for America and shared hard-earned wisdom with his children and grandchildren.
I looked to my right and saw the Washington Monument. Looked to my left at the Lincoln Memorial. I read quotes engraved on massive stones. And I felt, to my core, one sad feeling: too much war.
Too. Much. War.
The quotes and certain retellings of history would have me believe that we fought for pure purposes: we fought for religious freedom, we fought to end slavery, we fought for freedom for all humanity, we fought to end tyranny. But it's also true that we fought (and fight) for economic interests. It&…