אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֗ים יְהִ֤י מְאֹרֹת֙ בִּרְקִ֣יעַ הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם לְהַבְדִּ֕יל בֵּ֥ין הַיּ֖וֹם וּבֵ֣ין הַלָּ֑יְלָה וְהָי֤וּ לְאֹתֹת֙ וּלְמ֣וֹעֲדִ֔ים וּלְיָמִ֖ים וְשָׁנִֽים׃
God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate between day and night; and they will serve as signs and seasons, for the days and years.
I’ve entered the world of Four Seasons with my move to Westchester County, New York. Here are some photos I took at one of my favorite places, Rockefeller State Park Preserve.
Return to the Gateway of Seasons.
Seasons are very different in each of the places I have lived. In South Texas, a short spring quickly stretches into a long, hot, heavy summer, followed by a pleasant fall and mild winter. (more…)
I used to own a long, soft, narrow-wale corduroy dress that always seemed to call to me around this time of year. Its colors were muted: taupe and pale purple and deep fir-green. One day I realized that it matched the Berkshire hills in their November colors: the taupe brown of bare trees seen from a distance, the muted purple of distant hillsides at early twilight, the deep green of conifers on the highest parts of the hills.
by Rabbi David Zaslow
There is an organic flow between all of the Jewish holidays that mirrors the cycles in nature. In the Creation story, we learn that “there was evening and there was morning, the first day” (Gen. 1:5). Jews continue to mark the beginning of the day at sunset—evening—and not at midnight as most of the world does.
In addition to affirming the goodness of seasonal rhythms, the Bible also affirms the seasonal rhythms of human life, as in the well known section of Kohelet / Ecclesiastes:
There is a season for everything, and a time for every desired purpose under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3 לַכֹּ֖ל זְמָ֑ן וְעֵ֥ת לְכָל־חֵ֖פֶץ תַּ֥חַת הַשָּׁמָֽיִם׃
Years ago, I learned from the late Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank about a spiritual practice of reviewing one’s life in seven year increments, a Sephirah (counting) of life. It’s a great exercise to do around your birthday or anytime you want to take stock.
Rabbi Avin the Levite said: All who try to force the moment (literally, “the hour”) the moment forces them,
and all who yield to the moment, the moment yields to them.
כל הדוחק את השעה שעה דוחקתו וכל הנדחה מפני השעה שעה נדחת מפניו
by Stephen Jurovics, Ph.D.
Each of the seasons of the year can evoke, for many of us, an image of what we most enjoy about that period. It may be the sequence of warm spring days with clear blue skies during which the outside world exerts a strong pull and diminishes our commitment to work or study, that period we call “spring fever.”
For others, it’s the summer days of sunshine and high temperatures when many leave work to vacation at the beach and enjoy the water, sand, and sunshine.
The familiar images and anticipated enjoyment are inexorably moving towards the remembered and unpredictable. Climate change is transforming everything, including our experiences of the seasons, and those changes will challenge our physical, visual, and emotional lives.
Do you have a favorite season? What do you love about it?