Rebbe Nachman shared that the world was completely different for him every Jewish holiday: “The entire cycle of yearly times—be it Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur or Sukkot; Hoshanah Rabbah or Simchat Torah; or whether it’s the minor holidays like Chanukah, Purim or Tu b’Shevat which proceeds it; or on Pesach or Shavuot… I am not the same person I was before the holiday. When the holiday comes I have become completely transformed by it.”
The Breslover watchword for Tu b’Shevat and every Jewish holiday is clearly…renewal.
Reb Nosson explains: “We understood from the Rebbe’s words that on each holiday he received an entirely new understanding of how to serve G-d. What he grasped revolutionized his Divine service which reached an entirely new plane every holiday. He had a new way to serve G-d for each of these holidays.”
When I read this teaching I feel such a yearning to renew myself this Tu b’Shevat—and every other holiday as well! But how can I do this practically? Breslovers would explain from Rebbe Nachman that seeking it is how we get it. We need to fire up our heart—symbolized by the etrog we shook during the holiday of Sukkot. Let my heart burn for renewal with a holy fire and help me revolutionize my Divine service!
Dear G-d. Please show me how to be fresh and new! I don’t want to waste the special chance I have to draw in the special feelings of renewal that flow through every Jewish holiday. Help me serve you on a completely different level. Please give me a beautiful etrog—a sensitive and open heart! Ignite my feeling heart with the flame of longing for you. Let my soul sing to you a song of yearning until I am totally transformed and renewed.