Tu B'Shvat and Our Continued Renewal
Dear Adat Ari El Families,
This week we celebrated the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shvat, the birthday of trees. This holiday offers us the opportunity to think about renewal. On Tu B’Shvat we think about renewal in terms of our environment, but I would like to also think about it in terms of the people here at ADAT. From the administrators who are constantly thinking about what can be done better, to the faculty who are working incredibly hard at refining their practice, to the students who are modeling what it means to be members of a holy community, Adat Ari El Day School is constantly renewing and improving to continue to strive for that which makes us great!
There is a famous story in the Talmud that we often tell on Tu B’Shvat of Honi the circle maker. One day Honi was walking down the road and saw a man planting a carob tree. He asked the man how long the tree would take to produce carobs and the man answered that it would take 70 years. Honi then asked the man, “And do you think you will live another seventy years and eat the fruit of this tree?” The man answered, “Perhaps not. However, when I was born into this world, I found many carob trees planted by my father and grandfather. Just as they planted trees for me, I am planting trees for my children and grandchildren so they will be able to eat the fruit of these trees.” Every day that we think proactively about how we can be better, not only benefits this generation of students, but also sets the stage for making ADAT even better for the next group of students.
In this weeks Parsha (Yitro), we read about receiving the Torah from Mount Sinai. The Torah was not just a gift given to the Jewish people. It marked a partnership between the people and God – an agreement that if the Jewish people adopted the rules and values of the Torah then God would embrace us as a holy community. Every day we are faced with choices. Not all of them are drastic life-changing ones but each decision we make determines the type of person that we are and that we hope to be. In this season of renewal I hope that we can all turn our attention to the decision that the Israelites made at Mt. Sinai to accept the Torah and the values that lie within.