It once happened that a farmer was removing stones from his field and putting them onto a public thoroughfare. There was a certain pious person who challenged the farmer: “Why are you taking stones from what is not yours and putting them onto what belongs to you?” The farmer just laughed.
Our readers have also been asking about organic gardening during the shmita (or Sabbatical) year in the land of Israel. Are there any loopholes around the halacha? What does shmitta mean? We love the idea of shmitta. The biblically ordained one year out of seven when the land is left to lie fallow (this applies […]
(Cross-posted on the Jew and the Carrot.)Although Israel has grown into a modern post-industrial economy, the country still has strong agrarian roots, most famously, the agricultural socialist community of the kibbutz.So it’s no surprise that the relatively minor Jewish festival of Tu B’shvat, which starts tonight, has been growing in importance. In recent years Tu […]
Throughout history when a great event happened people would reset their calendar. When a new king became ruler the year would start again with one. Similarly, that is why we are in the year 2008 Anno Domini, Latin for: in the year of our Lord, referring to the birth of Jesus. In the Jewish calendar, […]
“There are four heads of the year… on the fifteenth of Shvat for the trees…” Mishna, Tractate Rosh Hashana, 1:1 As our home revolves around the Sun, the Jewish calendar is circular as well. How does one year have four beginnings? A circle does not have any beginning, nor does it have an end. Wherever […]
In Judaism it is traditional to make blessings. In fact sometimes it can feel, for the initiated, that one makes blessings for everything! It can be inconvenient, however, I believe that what lies behind, is the true nature of what it means to be green.
Look at My work, how beautiful and perfect is everything that I created. I created it for you. Be careful not to ruin and destroy My world. If you ruin it, there is nobody to restore it after you…” (Ecclesiastes Rabba 7:28) Those timely words written back somewhere between the sixth and eighth centuries pretty […]
Since the foundation of the first Kibbutz in Israel, nations around the world have looked to the Israeli model for communal living. One of the cornerstones of the kibbutz movement is C.A.L.L. (Communes at Large Letter), a seasonal magazine that reports on intentional communities in Israel and the rest of the world.
Haaretz reported today that the tender for building a massive solar power plant in the Negev will not be given preference to Israeli companies. The article explains that, “The decision was made, among other things, to avoid the impression that the tender was written for the benefit of the only two Israeli companies who could […]
I was out walking about a forest around Jerusalem today and kept hearing gunshots firing off from the Arab village across the way. They’re celebrating Hajj now, said my boyfriend. And I thought of all the Muslims who must be aching to make their pilgrammage to Mecca. With so many people converging in one small […]
Thousands of years before green became hot, the Jewish people were observing the Shmitta, or shmita, a sabbatical year. The Shmitta is documented in the bible as a year where farmers are forbidden to work the land in order to give the land a rest. The Lord said to Moses on Mount Sinai. (2) Speak […]