#blogexodus for 9 Nisan – Springtime and the Flowers Appear

(Composed on 9 Nisan)  This morning, standing in the parking lot after Religious School with a few of our parents, I remarked that things had suddenly turned cold, wet, and gloomy after a week of almost summer like weather.  In response to “where did all the sun go!”, one of the parents simply said: “It’s Spring”.  And glancing over at the forsythia which was in full bloom as a result of the springtime rains, I said with a smile, “yes it is.”

"For now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth" - Song of Songs 2:11-12

Ever since my days as the Assistant Rabbi at Temple B’nai Jeshurun, the bright yellow blossoms of the forsythia bushes have signaled the arrival of spring for me.  There a parking lot filled with forsythia would erupt into a bright golden display of flowers.  Though short lived, its magnificence would linger long after the blossoms had tumbled to the ground.

Spring has always been my favorite season.  As a born and raised Buffalonian, Spring singled the end of a cold, dark winter and the rebirth of a world that would soon be enveloped by the warmth of summer (not to mention, the beginning of another baseball season).  It is in the midst of Spring that the presence of God as the Source of creation is most tangibly present.  That which “died” at fall’s end, is reborn with spring’s coming; the Source of Life bringing life back to the earth before our very eyes.

This Shabbat, on the first day of Pesach, we will alter the words of our Gevurot prayer.  We will transform Mashiv haruach umorid hagashem (You cause the wind to shift and rain to fall) into Morid hatal (You rain dew upon us) and offer our thanks to the One who transforms our world with each passing season.  It is at this time especially that the return of M’Chayeih hameitim (who brings renewal to that which was dead) to the Gevurot of our Reform siddur feels so right to me. I know that I will have visions of flowers returning to the earth in mind as I recite those words this Shabbat and enjoy the blessings of God’s renewing presence.

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