When you are a Jewish environmentalist taking a break from the Jewish environmental world, you sometimes feel like you’re in your own personal exile. It’s self-imposed, of course. I suspect that I’d be welcomed if I tried to engage myself. But I also know that I need this time. (And when I forget, I keep getting reminders.)
So I keep reminding myself – and being reminded – to step back. Step away. Wait until the time is right.
And then the month of Shevat came. And while I’ve enjoyed not running around to lead seders, not rushing to prepare and post articles or send out free haggadot or prepare my own community talks…
I found myself having a tearful conversion with my husband. I confessed I didn’t want to go through Tu b’Shevat without celebrating with a Tu b’Shevat seder.
So we are having a Tu b’Shevat seder tonight.
We bought fruit and juice and we invited one other family in the neighborhood. I’m going to set the table with the fruit and the spices and I’ve prepared a one-hour seder that I hope will be fun for kids and inspiring for adults. I’ve included some lessons about mysticism that I love but never seemed to have space in a straight Jewish environmental seder. In fact, I’m coming to understand Tu b’Shevat as not only environmental, but with all its kabbalistic beauty, too.
This is what it’s like for me right now. I know that I’m growing. I know that sometimes I have to let go. And I also know that, personal exile or not, Tu b’Shevat is something I don’t want to miss.