We're at the turning point again when darkness gives way to light. By Tu B'shvat the trees reach saturation point from the winter rains. Yes, we celebrate that which exists but what the physical eye can't yet see. It holds the potential of all the growth that needs to manifest for the year to come. This explains why the 15th of Shvat is the new year for trees, but also the day on which they are judged for bringing forth that expected produce.
The letter Tzadi is connected to this month. It is formed out of two letters, nun and yud. Nun stands for nofel, fallen or falling, and the yud for Hashem's light. In this month we can take our shortcomings, the times when we fell, and we can turn it around for good by adding G-d's light to the equation. Tzadi also represents the Tzadik, the righteous one. We learn from the construction of the letter that no one is perfect, and that the potential of righteousness is in reach for all of us. Moreover, part of attaining righteousness is rising from the fall.
Falling and failing suddenly get a different spin to it. It is not a reason to give up and throw in the towel but now becomes an incentive to turn things around. We all fall down; it's taking that fall and using it as a springboard to reach higher heights.
It is out of the darkness that hope springs forth, and therefore this month also holds within it the sprouting of righteous shoot from the Davidic line. Mark well, a shoot comes from grassroots-level, from its present circumstances, contrary to the faulty doctrine that expects their messiah to re-appear from above. The indication of the text cannot be more clear.
The key to Mashiah is that he will rise from amongst his peers, from the present-day world and circumstances which he himself is part of and had to overcome, accomplishing and completely fulfiling his task in his lifetime, by raising mankind to their ultimate potential and call. Although he will at the appointed time come in the form of a world leader, anointed, and bestowed with G-d's spirit enabling him to effect a global reform, we are in essence all part of the Mashiah consciousness. Understand this well. You are part of Mashiah!
This is key to bringing Mashiah, through cultivating the consciousness of G-d's ultimate reign in this world, yearning for the building of the Beit Hamikdash and actively striding towards the Geula.
The Prophet Jeremiah (23:1-8) speaks of the time before the appearance of this shoot when the shepherds of the people have completely let them astray. It is so blatantly obvious when we look at our present government but also at the rest of the world leaders. Verses 7 and 8 confirm that we are in the time of the final exodus from exile, where the Holy One will gather Am Israel from the corners of the world.
So how do we move forward? We harness the essence of the month of Shvat by taking our shortcomings, our lost hopes and we actively bring in G-d's light into our circumstances. We thank G-d for all the good we have in our lives, we reset our focus on achieving G-d's personal call in our lives, we read from Psalms, one of the most powerful spiritual tools that can help us reshape our realities, engross ourselves in the TANAKH and making an active mind-shift to approach things with new energy and consciousness.
The word Shvat (שבט) spells out שנשמע בשורות טובות, - that we will hear good tidings!
Heads lifted high, eyes on Zion.