Dear Readers,

This week, we celebrate Tu BiShevat, the New Year for trees. At this time, the earliest blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.

It never ceases to humor me how, here in America, we celebrate the birth of the new fruit trees during one of the coldest winter months, when the ground is frozen over, the trees are barren and exposed, and we are huddled in our homes, shivering from the cold outdoors.

But perhaps that is the message that we need to remember at this time—in the cold and gloomy barrenness lie life-giving treasures, hiding beneath the surface, just waiting to blossom.

This week, the Torah reading describes the Jewish people’s exodus from their long Egyptian bondage, their freedom to transform their lives, and in particular the special faith of the Jewish women.

When the Jewish people experienced the miracle of the sea splitting, Moses tells them: “Stand still and see the L-rd’s salvation . . . the L-rd will fight for you, but you shall remain silent.”1

When we look around us, with the current war going on in Israel, the situation can feel quite bleak. Thousands of families have been traumatized and remain displaced, and our hostages still have not returned to their families. But we need to remember, Yeshuat Hashem keheref ayin, “G‑d's salvation can come in the blink of an eye.”2 Even in the most hopeless situation, we cannot lose faith because G‑d can change it at any moment.

May we experience great miracles in the coming week!

With heartfelt prayers for the security of all our brothers and sisters the world over,

Chana Weisberg
Editor, TJW