Shevat 14 is the anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Yaakov Yehoshua Falk Katz (1680-1755), author of the Talmudic work "P'nei Yehoshua." He served as rabbi of Lemberg (Lvov) in 1718, Berlin in 1730, Metz in 1734 and Frankfurt in 1740.
One life breaking out through the soil into this world. And even then, with all our might, we struggle to rise yet higher, climbing up towards the sun, desperate not to be torn away by the fury of its storms or consumed by its fires.
Then there are our roots, deep under the ground, unmoving and serene. They are our ancient mothers and fathers, who lie within us at our very core.
For them, there is no storm, no struggle. There is only the One, the Infinite, for Whom all the cosmos with all its challenges are nothing more than a fantasy renewed every moment from the void.
Our strength is from our bond with them. With their nurture we will conquer the storm and bring beauty to the world within which we were planted.