Tu BiShvat (Hebrew for the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat) is the new year of the trees.
As joyous as the holiday is, it is also a time for serious reflection on the duties of a Jew toward their community, particularly in a post-Holocaust world.
It's a good bet that many Americans are doing some deep thinking about the qualities we seek in a leader. Do we value charisma over moral purity? Do we forgive personal flaws in deference to rank and power?
The book is large and fits comfortably on a lap. The color photographs nearly fill each page. Each image depicts real people doing everyday Jewish things — a young girl eating matzah ball soup; a bubbe and her grandchildren lying in the grass; a man wearing tefillin, praying. The sentences are in large print; they are simple ("Mother says the blessing over the candles") and easy to read.
There is a photograph in my study of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shaking hands with me in a crowded Jerusalem hotel ballroom.