Vaeira 5776

This week begins the month of שבט.

Why is שבט the month associated with the Rosh Hashana for trees?

This month is a special month in both the mundane and spiritual.

Regarding the mundane, during שבט, most of the rain has already fallen for the coming year. The coming year’s vegetation is about to enter the phase of production. All the nutrients that have been gathered from the wet soil have been drawn in and the new life cycle is starting way down under the ground. Therefore, שבט, is the Rosh Hashana for trees.

On a spiritual level, it was in שבט that Moshe began to speak to the Yidden the words of ספר דברים, which is a review of all the Torah. Reviewing the Torah is the integration process, to take all the different teachings and really internalize them into the person themselves.

We know that the “mazal” of שבט is a bucket.
The אבן עזרא goes so far to say this “mazal” of a bucket is the ultimate personification of the people of Israel. A bucket is used to draw in water, and we know that Torah is symbolized by water. This month has extra special divine guidance for us to be like a bucket and draw in more and more Torah than we thought possible. The אבני נזר said he felt an extra level of divine inspiration and illumination in his Torah thoughts when the month of שבט began. The bucket is an appropriate symbol of the people of Israel, as our job in this world is to draw the Torah into ourselves to improve our spiritual beings.