Roy Neuberger - Jan. 25, 2019

Is it a coincidence that this climactic Torah Portion, in which the Children of Israel meet Hashem at Mount Sinai, should fall out during the week of T’U b’Shevat (The New Year of Trees)? Well that question is of course unnecessary, because there are no coincidences.


My study partner, Rabbi Yehuda Schiff Shlita”h, showed me a Ramban on the Torah Portion Bo which tells us that: “a person has no share in the Torah of Moses our Teacher unless he believes that all our affairs and experiences are miracles …. There is [no such thing as] ‘the ordinary course of the world.’” (Ramban on Exodus 13:16) We learn from the Exodus from Egypt that Hashem controls everything. The extraordinary miracles which took place in Egypt serve to show us that the entire “everyday” conduct of nature and everything that happens in this world emanate directly from Hashem’s will.


T’U B’Shevat’s remarkable legacy is that, during the winter, when the earth is frozen, animals are hibernating and all nature appears dead, this is not the real story. The real story is that the sap hidden within the trees is starting to flow at precisely this moment. The hidden rebirth, Resurrection of the Dead, the ascent from death, the salvation of the world always begins in a hidden manner. “And Rabbi Yitzchak said: Blessing is not found except in something that is hidden from the eye.” (Taanis 8b; Bava Metzia 42a)


T’U b’Shevat is the day “when the sap rises in the trees…” (Bnai Yissaschar, quoted in Book of Our Heritage)


Does anyone see the sap rise?


Only Hashem knows when the hidden explosion of salvation – the cosmic moment of our Great Redemption – is beginning, concealed from all eyes. All nature imitates Hashem, the Ultimate Hidden One. Similarly, our Rabbis say about holy people: “Who is destined for a share in the World to Come? One who is modest and humble, who enters bowing and leaves bowing, who learns Torah constantly, but doesn’t take credit for himself.” (Sanhedrin 88b)


Everything holy is hidden. This character trait is exactly opposed to the society which surrounds us, which is obsessed with publicity, pushiness and “me first.” My friends, the news is disastrous on every level. Now they are outlawing shechita (kosher slaughtering) in Europe. Next they will try to outlaw every other mitzvah until they try to outlaw those who perform mitzvos, G-d forbid.


But the sap is rising in the trees and the rains are pouring down on the Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee). Our secret springs of blessing are pouring down from Heaven, and this is all a prelude to the Redemption we are all awaiting. As I quoted recently, “when the wicked bloom like grass and all doers of iniquity blossom, it is to destroy them till eternity…” (Psalm 92)


The world thinks it is close to the moment when they will solve the “Jewish Problem” forever. Little do they know that, where no one can see, the sap of redemption is rising in the Tree of Life, and the day is dawning when we will hear “for a second time in the presence of all the living … ‘I am Hashem your G-d!’” (Mussaf Shabbos Kedusha)



The sap is flowing in the trees.


Recent Posts


Yerushalayim Hashem synagogue Holocaust Jewish Ezekiel New Moon Rabbis world to come stars Earth spiritual Moses mikveh, Sabbath Bais Hamikdosh kiddush secret heavenly throne Ishamael Tu b'Av Canaan Jerusalem Ruth angels prophets Isaiah Tu b'Shvat dreams idolatry prayer yeshiva seder Mount Sinai earthquake forefathers Golan Rebbe Macabees terrorism Pharaoh Rosh Hashana 2020 Vision Baku Holiness trees Temple Maccabeans angel Maimonides self-worship Elul Ashkenazi Jewish holidays leprosy enemies Boaz kosher evil inclination eternal Talmud sin mikveh Eglon Jew Abrahem prayer book Sukkos Rome Samuel the Prophet Angel of Death Prophecy Dead Sea Sodom Solomon redemption Amram Mount Zion liberation culture Raiders of the Lost Ark United Nations bible cries danger eternity Zohar Pinchas mitzvos Laban slavery Babylonia Rashi Esther Purim exile priests Exodus King Solomon Sarah shmittah pray Benjamin Teshuva Egypt David Ishmael king matzos Heavenly Mercy Avraham Bilaam brotherhood Shushan patriarchs Esau chessed Nation of Israel Miraglim End of Days Europe evolution Holy land resurrection materialism commandment repentance holy Leah persecution Red Sea Judgement Day Tzuk etan Father in Heaven Aharon High Priest biblical spies Psalms Protective edge esrog King of the Universe Tefillin Passover Seder Red Heifer light deluge evil judgement media Miriam idol spirituality Song of Songs siddur Zion Chafetz Chaim rabbi sanctity Rosh Hashanah Parsha song Gog Sefiras haOmer kesuba tablets peace Sea of Galilee America heavenly gates prophet Samuel Torah scholars Samuel yarmulke shield of Abraham sun Matisyahu bird Mount Hermon Matriarchs Sephardi Holy Ark Moshiach logic Amalek mitzva stones Sabbath murder Genesis Day of Judgement Yaakov Chofetz Chaim tears missiles plague Galil Terror Attack in Jerusalem King David Lot shofar Moshe alone High Holy Days Master of the Universe Western Wall Sages Hebrew patriarchs'matriarchs Rabbi Akiva paradise Blame Isaac slaves darkness Malbim Land of Israel war hubris Western World Chanukah barley fragrance Golus God Greeks Magog Israel Tisha b'Av Jews heaven Holy Temple Hasmoneans Jewish People Noah Jacob ancestors Chanukkah compassion Moshaich Tallis Divine presence Ishmeal Geula Joseph India messiah holiday purity Children of Israel Temple Mount Beit Hamikdash Midrash Banias Jewish festival kinneret Shechina tremors redeemer terror flood Judah fault Eve ethics chaos survival terrorists Shavuos Zechariah fires Zion, Angel cholent three weeks Solar eclipse Abraham soul Passover moon Sukkah Ammon Creator locusts gossip Jeremiah Adam Chol haMoed automobiles Judaism prayers Rebecca Lunar eclipse keys miracles Final redemption night rosh chodesh violence miracle bris milah lights Rachel Edom blessing Golden Calf rain sacrifices repent G-d prophet Psalm Garden of Eden Second Temple menorah creation water Day of Atonement Babylon Haman death Faith Balak Torah portion terrorist tabernacle fear Moab Yom Kippur Mordechai Repentence Ten Commandments Torah minyan incense pain Achashveirosh salvation Hagar meraglim Shabbos