“It feels like paradise here!” I gushed over the phone. In mid-February, I was sitting under a tall palm tree in temperatures soaring to the high eighties. I had left our frigid, snow-covered New Jersey streets that morning, and I was letting my husband know that I had arrived safely. “Can you imagine living in such a warm climate year-round?” I enthused.

“If we’d live there all the time, we probably wouldn’t appreciate it,” was his wise response.

For many of us, it’s been an awfully long, cold and snowy winter. But as the temperatures have finally begun to thaw, spring is beckoning.

The dawn of spring ushers in change, growth and rebirth. The bare trees begin to bud, the birds chirp and the first flowers bloom. But without the stark winter, without its frigid winds and icy snow, would we really appreciate the spring as much? Don’t we anxiously await the spring’s arrival precisely because we’ve just been through the long and harsh winter?

This week, we celebrate Rosh Chodesh Nissan. Before long, we’ll be sitting at our regal Seder celebrating our freedom as a nation. The holiday of Passover always falls in the spring; Passover, too, is a season of new beginnings.

Surrounded by fresh buds, we better appreciate our journey as a budding nation. Emerging from the imprisonment of frigid coldness, we can better experience our liberation. As the vegetation breaks out of the frozen ground, we too break free from our limitations.

This week on TJW, check out our Rosh Chodesh Nissan site for lots of great ideas and inspiring articles. To prepare the holiday cooking, you’ll want to read Why You Need to Love your Freezer. If you become irritable from all the work ahead, My Irritable Mood is for you. And if you enjoy creative projects, you’ll love our crafting article on How to Make Your Own Silver Seder Cups.

On a more personal note, this week literally marks my own beginnings. More than eight decades ago, Rosh Chodesh Nissan marked the birth of my beloved father, Rabbi Dovid Schochet, who still serves as a brilliant, esteemed and caring rabbi, mentor and so much more to me and so many others. And then, two days later marks the wedding anniversary of my parents, officiated by the Lubavitcher Rebbe himself, who assigned my parents their life’s work in leading the Jewish community of Toronto. Happy birthday, Daddy! Happy anniversary, Mommy and Daddy! May G‑d grant you both many more years of tremendous accomplishment in full health and happiness.

Let’s take a deep breath and enjoy the wisps of the fresh spring air, as we begin our journey towards liberation.

Chana Weisberg,
Editor, TJW