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THEMES of Featured Ascent Lights

Tu B’Shevat: Celebrating Pleasure
The Tu B’Shevat festive dinner is an opportunity to repair the transgression of Adam and Eve.
If we eat and enjoy the fruits of this world for God’s sake—because this is what He asks of us—then we are serving G-d and bonding with Him by acknowledging that the fruits of this world are His gifts to us and by willfully accepting and enjoying those gifts. The root of Jewish life is, in fact, enjoyment—the pleasure of connecting to God.
The Healing Power of Trees
The 70 date palm trees symbolize the 70 aspects of Torah that are revealed to those who eat of its fruit.
Every year, the weekly Torah portion of Beshalach is read in close proximity to the holiday of Tu B'Shevat. There are in fact many beautiful and deep allusions to Tu B'Shevat in the portion. Some of these relate to the healing power of trees and, on a symbolic level, to the Torah, itself, and some relate to the process of rejuvenation that trees undergo in general, and in this season in particular.
Integration of Man and Environment
Appreciating the environment is not merely another Cause; it reflects awareness of the Divine in all.
We have the responsibility and privilege to refine, elevate and perfect the environment for positive and constructive ends, to civilize and enhance the world, morally and ethically, for good and holy purposes. Otherwise, we do not have the right to even touch any part of the environment.
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