web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » Judaism » Torah »

Shabbos Mevorchim Shevat


Weiss-010413

This coming Shabbos we bentch Rosh Chodesh Shevat, which falls on Shabbos Kodesh (January 12). The highlight of this month is of course Tu B’Shevat, the New Year of the trees. As the mind conjures up images of spring, I can spot nary a sign of spring from my vantage point here in the northeastern part of the U.S.

Ah, but it is in the Holy Land where nature is awakening, as witnessed by the new buds on the almond tree that is first to come to life. The Torah informs us that Eretz Yisrael is “a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive and honey [dates]” — the shivas haminim (seven species) that grace our Tu B’Shevat table in celebration of the Rosh Hashanah l’ilanot.

This year Tu B’Shevat is observed on Shabbos Shira, when Parshas Beshalach regales us with the stunning events of Krias Yam Suf — where we read of Moshe Rabbeinu and Am Yisrael breaking into rapturous song of praise to Hashem in gratitude for His miracles, and of Miriam HaNeviah taking tambourine in hand as she leads the women in song and dance. The tambourine was the instrument of choice, its ringing sound intended to drown out the female voices and render them inaudible to the men (in adherence to “kol b’isha ervah,” the prohibition against men to listen to the lilting sound of a woman’s voice – Brachos 24:1).

According to the Imrei Noam, the future tense of Az Yashir – they will sing – alludes to the days of Moshiach when Hashem will revive the dead. As the Gemara states, three keys are in the hands of Hashem and are not entrusted with the malachim: the key to birth (children), the key to rain (sustenance), and the key to techiyas hameisim (life).

The haftorah of Parshas Beshalach intriguingly chronicles the story of Devorah HaNeviah. Both Miriam and Devorah are counted among the seven righteous women who were divinely blessed with prophecy. (The others are Sara, Chana, Chuldah, Avigayil and Esther.)

Devorah the Prophetess was a judge renowned for overseeing all her judicial matters in the open, outdoors under a huge palm tree — as a means of avoiding the slightest hint of impropriety in the way of unethical or immoral behavior with a stranger.

When the Jews triumphed over the King of Canaan, Devorah composed a song, a Shira to Hashem — considered by the Torah to be on a par with the Shira of Moshe Rabbeinu. Thus two parallels emerge between the parsha and the haftorah: one that equates the Shira of Devorah with that of Moshe, the other spotlighting the striking similarities of Devorah and Miriam — both prophetesses and both of scrupulous character.

Various reasons are cited for our tradition of feeding the birds on Shabbos Shira (actually carried out on Erev Shabbos), the most common being that we reward the birds for having sung their own Shiras HaYam (Song at the Sea), as well as for having saved the day when two rabble-rousers, Dasan and Aviram, had seen fit to strew mon (manna) about in the fields early on Shabbos – a day when the mon would not be falling – to mock Moshe and the word of Hashem. By the time the people arose that morning, there was none to be found, for the birds had eaten it and thus spared Moshe from being played the fool.

It was on the first day of the month of Shevat, in the last year of Bnei Yisrael’s sojourn in the wilderness and a mere thirty-seven days before he would leave this world, when Moshe Rabbeinu began to review the Oral Torah, the Mishnah, with them.

It [the Torah] is a Tree of Life for those who grasp it… (Mishlei 3:18) Like the fruit that draws sustenance from the tree, so are we judged in Shevat on our spiritual sustenance…

Another of many references in the Torah that alludes to man’s commonality with the tree: “You shall eat from them and not cut them down, for man is the tree of the field…” (Devarim 20.19) Whether in the home or in the field, the reality is that a loving and nurturing environment is the most prone to produce the choicest of fruit.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Shabbos Mevorchim Shevat”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh would replace Abbas chairman of the Palestinian Authority if elections were held today.
Poll: Hamas Would Rule Judea and Samaria in New Elections
Latest Judaism Stories
shofar+kotel

If you had an important court date scheduled – one that would determine your financial future, or even your very life – you’d be sure to prepare for weeks beforehand. On Rosh Hashanah, each individual is judged on the merit of his deeds. Whether he will live out the year or not. Whether he will […]

The_United_Nations_Building

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

Of paramount importance is that both the king and his people realize that while he is the leader, he is still a subject of God.

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

Needless to say, it was done and they formed a great relationship as his friend and mentor. He started attending services and volunteered his time all along putting on tefillin.

He took me to a room filled with computer equipment and said, “You pray here for as long as you want.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

If there is a mitzvas minuy dayanim in the Diaspora, then why is there a difference between Israel and the Diaspora in the number of judges and their distribution?

Judaism is a religion of love but also a religion of justice, for without justice, love corrupts.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

More Articles from Rachel Weiss
Weiss-082214-Beloved

Hashem recalls everything – nothing is hidden from His eyes.

Weiss-072514

Just as the moon waxes, wanes and renews itself, so has the nation of Israel renewed itself through the millennia.

Known by all as a happy-go-lucky fellow, Yossel’s lackluster parnassah never got the better of him. His dejected-looking wife, however, hardly shared his simchas ha’chayim and Yossel would often attempt to cheer her with words of chizuk.

The girl who had remarkably survived the accident had previously not led a religious lifestyle – which unsurprisingly changed after this event.

“Is my husband’s Olam Haba’ah really worth the sume of 1,000 ruble?”

Readers who have kept up with this series since its inception will have noted a consistent emphasis on the role women have played in our rich heritage.

On this Shabbos Parshas Mishpatim, we bentch Shabbos Mevorchim Adar Rishon, Rosh Chodesh falling on Friday and Shabbos (January 31 and February 1). Mishenichnas Adar Marbin B’Simcha – with the beginning of Adar rejoicing is increased… by virtue of an extra Adar, our jubilation is extended this year.

The month of Shevat, according to the Sefer Yetzirah, is associated with the letter tzaddik. A Tzaddik is, literally, a righteous person, one who eats to live, to have the energy to serve the Ribono shel Olam – versus the gluttonous, insatiable kind that live to eat, to satisfy their corporeal cravings.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/torah/shabbos-mevorchim-shevat/2013/01/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: