Our "Springtime" Holidays
Where they originated, Tu B’Shevat, Purim, and Pesach can legitimately be called springtime holidays. But, what of the rest of the world?
Here in Toronto, temperatures peaked at 2 degrees Celcius for Tu B’Shevat, the “festival of the trees” (that’s 35.6 for those of you who still think in Fahrenheit). Temperatures across Canada were generally colder, with “balmy” Vancouver reaching only 4 degrees. On Purim, we are expecting to stay between 1 and 6 degrees across Canada – St. John’s has a snowfall warning. By Pesach, we are beginning to enjoy spring-like weather, trying to forget the inevitability of one last April snowfall. The old saying “April showers bring May flowers” belies our reality – typically, it’s May showers bring June flowers, here. In fact, prevailing wisdom is that it’s only safe to plant after the second-last weekend in May, when the threat of a late frost is gone. Here in the colder part of the world, the first of the so-called “springtime” holidays coincide, not with the beginning of the new season, but with the tiring reality of a winter that seems to drag on indefinitely. Thankfully, their warm messages of joy, hope, and renewal are just what we need to carry us through our coldest and darkest time of year. They signal the warmth of the seasons to come.