Sign In Forgot Password

Rabbi's Blog: Tu B'Shevat is Here...

01/17/2022 02:52:29 PM


Dear OZ family,


Tu B’shvat in a leap year always seems to take us by surprise. We’re hardly thinking of nature’s renewal when sunset still starts with a '4' and sunrise is at 7:16 am. Even Israel is experiencing an unusually cold and wet spell this past week. But with Adar just around the corner we know that nature’s endowments will surely be upon us soon. We as a people are quite familiar with renewal after loss and tragedy. Within living memory, we have experienced the greatest tragedy of the last 1900 years and the greatest return within just a few years. It is a fulfillment of Yirmiyahu’s opening vision in which God tells him:  “See that I appoint you this day over nations and kingdoms, to uproot and pull down, to destroy and demolish, and to rebuild and replant.”


The renewal of Tu B’shvat this year combines with a Federal Holiday celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.. He helped this country renew the promises it made in its founding documents, to assure that the promissory notes that were made for all its inhabitants would be covered by sufficient funds. He deftly used the prophets, Yeshayahu, Yirmiyahu and especially Amos, and Sefer Vayikra to demand fair treatment, equanimity, and liberty for all who live here. It would be only natural that Dr. King was a staunch supporter of Israel in her struggles against the forces of terrorist oppression and violence surrounding her. He was unequivocal in backing Israel against her enemies and made no secret in the consideration of the righteousness of the struggles of Israel’s survival in the Middle East.


This is a far cry from the progressive stance taken today regarding the struggles in the Middle East, who side with the most virulent offenders of freedom and liberty against Israel, and have much to learn from the positions of Dr. King. May his memory be a blessing, and may more people be driven to his approach to righting the wrongs that we see before us.


Be safe.    Be healthy.   Be excellent.   

Rabbi Allen Schwartz  


Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Congregation Ohab Zedek

118 West 95th Street | New York, NY  10025-6604

Phone 212.749-5150, ext 200 | Fax 212.663-3635



Mon, June 27 2022 28 Sivan 5782