A Short Shabbat Reflection from the Weekly Torah Portion by Rabbi Mark
*Bissel: (bis-sel) Yiddish. Meaning: “a little.” “Give me a bissel lox on my bagel,
would you, darling?” A biselleh is even less.
Parshat B’shalach (Exodus 13:17 – 17:16) and Tu B’shvat
Called Shabbat Shirah/A Shabbat of Song, this week we finally celebrate the Israelite escape from Egypt with the Song of the Sea. It is a time of triumph, and a time to sing. We read, “Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song….Then Miriam took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her in dance…” Though a time of joy, it’s an exodus that is not without casualty, as the sea closes over Israel’s pursuers. And, it doesn’t take long till the kvetching begins over lack of water and food in the wilderness.
What personal triumph in the present or recent past can we celebrate and sing about?
Do we find ourselves too often kvetching, if not over food and water, then about other things?
Tu B’shvat Bonus: We also celebrate the New Year of the Trees this Shabbat. In preparation, our Shabbat Shalom Sunday School took part in a ritual for tree planting, and then planted seeds to cultivate at home.
This Tu B’shvat, what spiritual seeds can you plant, cultivate and watch grow in the coming year?
Rabbi Mark Melamut