The synagogue my family attends is just beginning a long awaited renovation. It is very exciting. When I drove my carpool yesterday, the property looked completely different. At the entrance, the entire space was stripped of lumber. As I drove up the long drive to the entrance, I passed by mountains of huge tree trunks stacked and ready to be hauled away by the construction workers.
I’m not sure how many of my blog readers will understand the irony and dark humor I find in the timing of this tremendous sight, so I will explain. This coming Sunday evening begins TuB’Shevat, the new year of the trees. In Israel it is the end of rainy season and the first buds are appearing. Usually, we celebrate by eating various fruits and nuts that are grown in Israel, and donate money to plant forests. It is one of the holidays that link Judaism with environmentalism in a major way.
Chopping down trees on TuB’Shevat? . . . (shielding eyes and grimacing) A-W-K-W-A-R-D. . .