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Beit Midrash Shabbat and Holidays The Month of Nissan

Spring

I think that we can all agree that it is been a rather difficult winter that we have experienced over the past few months. Here, in Israel, it was a winter of political disarray, Corona issues and enforced lockdowns, and the usual, somewhat depressing, factors of winter – short days and long and often lonely nights. So, the advent of spring is certainly a harbinger of better times and brighter days to come.
Rabbi Berel WeinNissan 1 5781
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I think that we can all agree that it is been a rather difficult winter that we have experienced over the past few months. Here, in Israel, it was a winter of political disarray, Corona issues and enforced lockdowns, and the usual, somewhat depressing, factors of winter – short days and long and often lonely nights. So, the advent of spring is certainly a harbinger of better times and brighter days to come.

The clock has been changed to summertime and that, together with the natural progression of the sun, gives us more daylight when we can use it most. Naturally, the wonderful climate of Israel is beginning to respond with warmer days and pleasant nights. In short, things are beginning to look up.

All indications are that the vaccine program has been successful and that slowly but steadily we are gaining the upper hand against the scourge of the Corona plague. It may be boastfully premature to claim complete victory in this matter, however, I think that we all feel that finally there is light at the end of the tunnel and that the Lord will help us in emerging from the darkness that has engulfed us over this past 16 months. The warmth of the spring sun and of the revival of our flowers and foliage certainly has a different feel to it this spring than it did a year ago. It helps make springtime in Israel this year the favorite season for this hopeful and thankful citizen.

I hope that springtime will also bring a measure of stability as far as our political life and government is concerned. Since the political structure in Israel is so fractured and unfortunately driven by strong egos and stubborn personalities, we have been forced to undergo several years of complete governmental instability at a time when stabilizing this country regarding the challenges that face it would have seemed to be the primary requisite.

As I write this article, I have no idea as to what the result of this fourth election in a very short period of time is or will be. All the polls indicated that the split in the country regarding the continuation of the current Prime Minister in office is deep, rigid, and pretty much even. As such, we can very well again be faced with a patchy coalition that cannot and will not long endure. This seems to be the case, no matter which side of the argument regarding the Prime Minister and his continuation in office prevails in the election. The weakness of government over the past year and a half has exhausted the resilience of the general public. The ability of Israeli society to continue to maintain both public and private life, despite, or perhaps because of, the absence of strong political leadership is indeed impressive. All of us here in Israel know we are going to experience interesting times ahead, but that we will somehow succeed, survive, and prevail.

The beauty of nature here in our holy country is nowhere more exhibited in its full glory as it is during the springtime. Our small country contains myriad forms of plant life and animal species. It has varied climates within a few short miles of each other and the blessings of the Mediterranean sun, mostly more moderate than other countries in our area of the world.

I see a woodpecker hard at work on a tree outside my home, and after years filled with persistence and industry, I wonder in amazement at this creature of God. Our neighborhood here in Rechavia is blessed with fascinating bird life. I have been able to notice it more closely lately because I wait outside my home for my wonderful friends who drive me to the synagogue daily. As I wait, I can observe birds in the trees that are found close to my home. The variety of sounds has increased now that springtime has arrived. They, too, thrive in the light and warmth of the new season. I often wonder what they think of me standing there looking at them. In the main, I am convinced that they ignore me, and confirm my opinion that in many respects these birds, as well as the animals are smarter than we humans.

But, I am very happy to be able to share springtime with them. The fact that the great holiday of Pesach falls in the springtime only enhances my contentment at the arrival of this blessed season.

Rabbi Berel Wein
The rabbi of the "HANASI" congregation in Yerushalim, head of the Destiny foundation, former head of the OU, Rosh Yeshiva of 'sharai Tora" and rabbi of the "Beit Tora" congregation, Monsey, New York.
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