With flooding and a larger than ‘typical’ amount of rain and snow this season, you may be feeling like you’ve had enough of winter. Luckily, Tu Bishvat is around the corner. This is when we plant for the spring and rededicate ourselves to caring for the environment because it ensures the well-being of future generations. As our sages teach, “Be careful not to spoil or destroy My world—for if you do, there will be nobody after you to repair it.” (Midrash Kohelet Raba 7:28) On Friday, February 10 we will have a special early Shabbat service at 6:00 p.m. followed by a Tu Bishvat teaching and dinner at 7:00 p.m. Please order your tickets for dinner here! We will be joined by over 40 people who are currently enrolled in our experiential Introduction to Judaism class. This will be their first opportunity to experience the warmth of our community.

Looking ahead to March, please save the date for Shabbat Dinner with the Zarour Family on March 3 at 7pm. In these trying times for immigrants and refugees, it’s all the more important to welcome our Temple Sinai-sponsored family and demonstrate that we stand with them. Also, Saturday night, March 11 will be Shushan Purim: The Musical! — come dressed as your favorite character from the Book of Esther — and March 12 is our annual Purim Carnival!

Please also mark your calendar for our upcoming Community-Wide Israel-themed Shabbat Retreat to take place at Granlibakken Tahoe from April 7-8, the Shabbat before Passover. Whereas past retreats have been for Sinai School families, this one will be multi-generational with a focus on adult programming. (Sierra Meszaros and Rachel Katz will provide a kids’ track so that parents can fully participate.) For those who are planning to travel with us to Israel this May, and especially for those who are not, this is an excellent opportunity to engage and deepen your thinking and understanding about Israel, past and present! We already have some wonderful scholars and teachers in our community who will lead discussions about Israeli history, culture and identity. There is no tuition for Temple members; the cost covers food and lodging only.

As always, please be in touch if we haven’t spoken in a while! I would love to know what’s new and dear in your life. I sincerely hope you can participate in one of these wonderful upcoming programs.

Rabbi Bair