Shabbat Parashat B’Shalach

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Shabbat Parashat B’Shalach
Shabbat Shirah and Tu B’Shevat!
January 26, 2013 – 15 Shevat 5773

Dear Friends,

I always love Shabbat Shirah – the Shabbat of Song – because we chant both the Song of the Sea, as part of our weekly Torah reading, and Deborah’s Song, as our haftarah reading from the Prophets!

It is not so much the musicality of our ancestors that we preserve in these readings, although the poetry in both of these songs is magnificent…It is the spiritual joy that our ancestors knew how to express when wonderful events transpired to uplift them. Yes, even in the midst of uncertainty, there are moments worth raising up and noticing. There are moments worthy of celebration, of song, and of thanks!

The Song of the Sea was a preface to the 40 year struggles of our people in the desert, celebrating the miracle of the crossing of the Red Sea, and looking forward to the full redemption and to the entry into the Promised Land which had yet to come.

Deborah’s song was a reflection of the trials and tribulations associated with the settlement of the Land of Israel in the time of the Judges.

Despite the uncertainties of life, our ancestors taught us, by their example, to fully embrace opportunities to give thanks with all of our hearts for the miracles that do occur from time to time, and to look forward to spiritual and communal moments that remind us that we are not alone in the world.

This Shabbat is also Tu’B’Shevat – the Jewish New Year for trees. In the midst of winter, we anticipate the first blossoming of the trees that will soon herald the Spring…What better way to celebrate Shabbat than to look forward to another year of delicious fruits!

I wish us all a Shabbat Shalom and a very happy Tu’B’Shevat!

Rabbi Gilah Dror