Sigh. What a stunning picture. I wish I was there right now. By myself. On a cozy couch. Next to a fireplace. In my log cabin. Can't stop. Typing half sentences. Sorry.
Well, this Shabbat is Tu B'Shvat! It's the new year for the trees, and we celebrate it by eating lots of sugar dried fruit and/or fresh fruit and nuts. Here is a great article explaining the deeper meaning of this holiday and how we celebrate it with the food. Because we all know that there ain't be no Jewish holiday without some good food. Mmm, mmm.
I'd like to share with you a short but profound thought, which I'm ashamed to say occurred to me while I was in the bathroom. Don't you just hate when that happens? I find it so annoying!
Life knocks us down with tribulations. Sometimes we're cut down so much, we don't think we have the strength to get up and keep going. But do you know what the trees teach us? That even when we're down, when we feel like we can't go on, when we don't show any outward signs of life, we can come back! We will continue to grow, and we'll grow stronger and better than we were before!
Every gardener knows that in order for a tree to grow strong and healthy, it needs to be pruned. That's how we should look at our tough times in life. Hashem is pruning us; removing the unhealthy and dead parts of us, so we can grow to our maximum potential. Sure, it hurts. No one said it would be painless.
On that note, I hope you all have a wonderful and peaceful Shabbat! Try not to eat too much sugary dried "fruit," okay? Promise?
Here's a pic of Rav Brody and David and half of Yosef Nechama, our General Director, as they landed in Houston on the Breslev Israel Rav Arush Honeymoon. Sorry guys, but I don't care how hard your day was. If you're not taking care of little kids all day, I don't want to hear it! Just kidding! Sort of. Okay, not really.