Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – January 7-8, 2022 (6 Shevat 5782)

January 7-8, 2022                                                                                                       Shabbat Bo
6 Shevat 5782



Tu BiShvat is coming!! The 15th of the Hebrew month of Shevat is the New Year for the trees. Scholars believe this originated in the 17th century as an agricultural festival marking the beginning of spring. Many people plant trees in Israel at this time, in honor or in memory of loved ones.

The Kabbalists created a ritual for the holiday similar to the Passover Seder. The Tu BiShvat Seder provides an opportunity to offer blessings for the gift of creation. Seder participants eat fruits and nuts from various kinds of trees and mark the changing season.

If it is safe for us to gather, we will hold our Tu BiShvat Seder on Thursday, January 13 at 2:00 PM in the MPR. Seating will be limited, and reservations will be required. A sign-up sheet will be posted.

Also on January 13, we will plant the third of seven fig trees to be planted in our own biblical garden. Many thanks to the students of Temple Bat Yahm’s Jewish Center for Arts and Learning for dedicating this year’s tree. The students will visit our Residents and the tree one day soon.

Rashi, the French medieval biblical commentator, wrote: The Torah compares humans to trees because, like humans, trees have the power to grow. And as humans have children, so trees bear fruit. And when a human is hurt, cries of pain are heard throughout the world. So when a tree is chopped down, its cries are heard throughout the world.


For Reflection:

In what ways have you benefitted from trees over your lifetime?

In what ways have you protected or preserved trees over your lifetime?


Wishing you Shabbat Shalom, a peaceful Shabbat. To protect the health of all our Residents, we will not be gathering for Shabbat services this week. May this Shabbat bring us comfort and peace, and may we take every opportunity to find gratitude for life and health.

To those who are celebrating birthdays in January, yom huledet sameach – a happy birthday!

To those observing a yahrzeit this Shabbat, may your memories be sweet.

We will read the names of your loved one as soon as we can hold services in our community again.


Candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo: Friday evening at 4:40 PM

Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 5:39 PM



Shabbat Shalom & Happy Tu BiShvat!                                                            Rabbi Sherman