Planting seeds and crops on the CRB farm this summer was a favorite peulah for campers and staff alike. Toiling the ground they felt the impact and power of connecting with the land. Later this month – the month of Shevat, we will celebrate Tu’B’shevat, known as the Jewish New Year of the Trees. In many ways it links us intrinsically as Jews to the land.
Nigel Savage, Executive Director of Hazon, commented that “The indigenous Israelis from whom we descend celebrated this as the start of the year for the natural world. Like lots of elements in Jewish tradition, we never forgot it, even as its meaning has changed overtime.”
Emulating our ancestors, we can think of empowering our future today as we celebrate Tu’B’shevat, and bring Israel, Camp, and land together. We were privileged to partner with Amir…. in bringing farming to a more engaging level then in the past. We have had small gardens in camp for years. Planting, the seeds or plants, harvesting the vegetables and then cooking them in Mitbachon has always been a highlight for campers involved in the project.
2013 witnessed a big jump in the number of participants engaging with farming. Savage is correct we do not forget the connection we have as Jews with the land and with the land of Israel. It is a value and historical connection that our campers learned as they were doing.
Today so many advances have been made by Israelis in the world of farming which has aided people around the world. Drip irrigation and proper harnessing of solar energy have been at the forefront of Israeli technology.
By connecting, by doing, our campers fulfilled the mission of our ancestors in ways that can be done best in camp. In camp, much of our learning is experiential, planting the seeds and giving each camper a fresh perspective that often illuminates written text.
Rabbi Paul Resnick