“The answer is that they understood at that moment the concept of techias hameisim. Those who had left them would come back.”
Once the Children of Israel learned that death is not final, we ceased to fear death. Once we ceased to fear death, it was as if we had returned to the Garden of Eden and we could once again sing with simcha, and that is when “Moshe and the Children of Israel chose to sing this song to Hashem…. ”
Now we can begin to understand more about the significance of Tu B’Shevat. It’s not only a lesson about techias hameisim. It’s more than that. We learn something very important about the process of Redemption and how it will come about.
We know that the most holy things in life are hidden. In fact, the Gemara tells us that blessing comes only from that which is hidden from sight, as it says, “A beraisa was taught in the yeshiva of Rabbi Yishmael: Blessing is not found except in something at which the eye cannot gaze” (Taanis 8b). For example, the Torah only hints at the identity and location of Yerushalayim before it is actually revealed. The identity of Mashiach is hidden as well, as is the time he will be revealed.
Of course, the supreme example of that which is hidden is Hashem Himself.
Tu B’Shevat teaches us that Redemption is hidden until the time comes for it to be revealed. We cannot see when the sap begins to flow within the tree. We cannot see the moment when the rains are absorbed into the roots and new life begins to flow, the moment the grip of winter loosens. We cannot see it – but we know that it occurs. The beginnings of Redemption are hidden until the glorious moment will burst upon us. In the spring of the year, the flowing of the sap is hidden from us, but the tree is coming back to life. Only when magnificent flowers suddenly burst into bloom do we see the actualization of what was hidden. How appropriate that this occurs around the time of Pesach, the Season of our Redemption, Z’man Cheiruseinu.
Let us remember, as we endure dark days in the midst of winter, that springtime is not far away. Mashiach may be hidden now, but soon we will see the glorious King of Israel in all his majesty and the Beis HaMikdash on Har HaBayis in the midst of the Holy City.
“Blessed Are You, Hashem, Who revives the dead.”
About the Author: Roy Neuberger's latest book, “2020 Vision” (Feldheim) is available in English, Hebrew, Spanish, French, Russian, and Georgian. An e-edition is available at www.feldheim.com. Roy is also the author of "From Central Park to Sinai: How I Found My Jewish Soul” (available in English, Hebrew and Russian, and Georgian) and “Worldstorm.” Roy and Leah Neuberger speak publicly on topics related to his books and articles. He can be contacted at email@example.com or through his websites www.tosinai.com and www.2020visionthebook.com. Roy and Leah Neuberger speak publicly on topics related to his books and articles. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his websites www.tosinai.com and www.2020visionthebook.com.
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