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Tu B’Shvat Thoughts

The ARK’s Rabbi Shlomo Tenenbaum shares his thoughts on Tu B’Shvat. 

Many years ago, I went to a Magritte Exhibit at the Art Institute. I enjoyed the artist’s work, and one picture deeply resonated with me. It is of an artist behind his easel staring intently at his subject.   

The subject is a giant egg, and the rendition on the easel is a chicken.  

It got me thinking that my work in The ARK is to see the person in front of me and imagine their promising better future and pave the road, with them, to get there.

I have seen many “eggs”, some scrambled, some over easy, some hard boiled, and somehow, we have to navigate to the sunny side up and hatching a better future.  

Tu B’Shvat is when, after a cold winter and nature disengaging itself, the very first invisible signs of spring start to percolate inside the trees. Soon we’ll see green leaves, growth, vegetation, and life blooming.  

We note the beginning both because there are Jewish Law ramifications knowing in which season a fruit grows and to instill hope in us, as a reminder. Just like nature will flourish soon, despite it being seemingly lifeless now, there is a spark of life in it. So too, when we or others feel cold and have been drained of our vitality, with the right warmth and nurturing we too will thrive and blossom.  

Here at The ARK, we have the privilege of serving our community and instilling hope during some of the most challenging times in people’s lives.  

We are blooming in The ARK this upcoming year as well and hatching into a beautiful new building, better equipped to serve the community.  

The Tu B’Shvat should bring growth, renewal and great things for all of us this upcoming year!