It is a truth universally acknowledged that it can be difficult to be Jewish at Christmas time. It has seeped into North American cultural consciousness so thoroughly that South Park even wrote a song about it, complete with trademark expletives.
It is life we want, no more and no less than that, our own life feeding on our own vital sources, in the fields and under the skies of our homeland, a life based on our own physical and mental labors; we want vital energy and spiritual richness from this living source.
We who have become cynical,
Whom life has raised its tough first
Of despair and
Disappointment and heartache
We who have learned to protect our souls
And toughen our hearts
To avoid more anguish
There are many reasons to celebrate Tu BiSh’vat this year, as this has been an exciting year for environmental justice.
Last year, my pre-school-aged daughter was acutely aware that her friends and their families would be celebrating Christmas and that she wasn’t going to be a part of it.
"Ninth of Av;" A traditional day of mourning the destruction of both ancient Temples in Jerusalem.
"15th of Shevat;" New Year of the Trees; Jewish Arbor Day, which is a minor festival.