We rang in 2022 similarly to how we welcomed 2021: under lockdown. Many of you may be feeling disappointed that life hasn’t returned to the way it was before the pandemic.
As we write this, we are relieved to hear that several congregants who were held hostage at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas are safe. While we’re comforted to know that they’re safe, this is still a traumatizing event for all those involved. We pray for the continued safety of Jewish people abroad and at home.
If the days ahead hold a more sombre forecast, we hope our issue will, at the very least, add some levity to your day. Valentine’s Day is not a Jewish holiday—so it might seem odd to be inspired so heavily by a secular celebration—but the time to ground ourselves in love and in the joyful energy of it, is what we hope to interject in your lives as you read through this issue. Love can be complicated, it isn’t always easy, but it is the love for our family, our friends, our community, and our planet that help us power through the strangest of times. It’s important to remember in these times that there can still be sunny, united, and silly moments of pleasure and desire that make us forget our worries and make us believe everything will be okay.
In this issue we hear about millennials creating work-centric mitzvahs, how love through the divine is an action that expands our systems, and love stories that transcend times of prejudice, missed connections, and long distances. And of course, so much more!
Our issue launches on Tu BiShvat, a holiday celebrating the natural world, with a soft spot for trees. Not all of us can plant trees on this day or on any day, but please take some time, even a minute out of your day (and beyond this holiday) to be kind to the ecological systems that nurture us and therefore allow us to experience the splendour of love.
We like you a latke,
Brought to you by the Niv team.