Shabbat's Life-Giving Presence
This is our first Shabbat in the month of Shevat. As we look outside it is hard to believe that Tu Bishevat is around the corner and that the trees will ever bloom again. One of the less noted qualities of Moshe is his ability to truly see, to notice what others fail to perceive. In recent weeks of Torah readings we have seen Moshe truly see the suffering of the Israelites when others simply passed by. Similarly, he noticed the distress of Jethro's daughters and came to their aid. Finally, Moshe's attention was drawn to the oddly burning bush and he took the time to contemplate it patiently until he perceived the presence of God hidden within. We can learn from Moshe to look more carefully at the world around us, finding hope in winter's darkness. If we look closely we can already see the buds on the trees beginning to swell. Soon the snow drop flowers will appear as well. Hidden within the sleet and snow is the hope of Spring.