Dear Readers,

This week is the last week of the Hebrew month of Nissan. During this month, we have an opportunity to recite a blessing on a fruit tree that has begun to bud.

This is a blessing said but once a year. I read the words: “Blessed are You, L‑rd our G‑d who has not made His world lacking in anything and has created its goodly creatures and goodly trees to give pleasure to humankind.”

As I recite the words, I feel every fiber of my being rebelling.

Has not made His world lacking? Not lacking in anything?

My heart vehemently protests, as I conjure images from the last many weeks. I picture my friend who so suddenly lost her husband. He was rushed to the hospital unable to breath; days later, she was burying him, alongside her two young children. I can almost hear the sobs of another friend burying her father just days before Passover. I picture nurses and doctors and health-care workers without needed supplies, valiantly trying to save lives. On my lips are still the Psalms I said for the long list of people still urgently requiring our prayers.

This is a world that is not lacking in anything?

But then I think back to the budding flowers on the fruit tree—their potential so tightly wrapped, hidden within, a secret to the world. Now, it may look like a plain green bud, but within is held a precious secret, a key to joy and survival. It won’t be for several weeks until it produces aromatic, juicy fruits. But right now, within that bud, is contained all that power, all that latent potential. To the naked eye, it looks unremarkable, but to the discerning eye, it is a life-giving treasure hiding beneath the surface.

Like the budding fruit flowers on the tree, within each of us and within our world lie all that it takes to become a world of redemption, a world of peace and unity, a world without sickness and misery. Each of us holds the keys and the prospects to make our barren world bloom into a redemptive one. Each of our actions can create a world “that does not lack in anything.”

Maimonides describes the era of Moshiach as a time of peace, abundance and enlightenment that will benefit everyone, everywhere. All luxuries will be readily available, and miraculous changes will take place within the fabric of nature. We will devote ourselves to the pursuit of a higher consciousness knowing that all creation is merely an extension of G‑d, the only true existence.

From the dawn of time, G‑d envisioned for Himself a “dwelling place” right here in our world, and He entrusted us with transforming our darkness into light.

Because hiding within our world is the potential each of us have to discover and actualize that our G‑d has not made His world lacking in anything and has created its goodly creatures and goodly trees to give pleasure to humankind.

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW