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A New Beginning

Happy Tu B'Shvat! This past Tuesday, we had the incredible opportunity to go hear Rabbi Katz and Rabbi Wallerstein speak. They both individually talked about the idea of Tu b'Shvat, and discussed the importance behind the holiday. Rabbi Katz and Rabbi Wallerstein, enlightened us with a new perspective and understanding for this holiday. Tu b'shvat is like a new beginning. This idea is perfect seeing as we just started our new semester this week. The idea of a new tree isn't the actual planting, but it is rather the idea of the new sap that has entered the tree for this coming year. Rabbi Katz compared the sap to kriyat yam suf.  He explained that when the Jews were running from the Egyptians and they arrived at the sea, they didn't know that it would split. The Jews went into the water thinking that they were approaching death. The Jews needed full emuna in Hashem. So too in Israel, we rely on Hashem for rainwater to provide us with many things to help us maintain a regular and comfortable life style. Living in Israel takes a tremendous amount of emuna in Hashem. The sap of a tree is dependent on the amount of rainwater that has fallen throughout the year. Tu b'Shvat metaphorically represents our true emuna in Hashem. Like the rain water, we are always looking to Hashem to guide us through our obstacles and just as there is always "the new sap of the tree", we pray that Hashem won't disappoint us. 

On Wednesday, the majority of us took part in an exciting fruit-themed musical Seder lead by our very own Rav Shvat in honor of Tu b'Shvat with his amazing guitar playing skills!  The rest of us had the once in a lifetime opportunity to attend a Tu b'ishvat event at Yad v'Shem attended by none other than Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat.    

Today we are all going out to the Ben Shemen forest to plant trees in honor of this special day.

More about that in next weeks Midreshet News….

Yardayna Zuller and Oona Welman, Shana Alef



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