It is wonderful to have ideals and to have goals – but it is not wonderful to beat ourselves up if we can’t be perfect. So how do we keep trying to get better and not feel badly when it doesn’t reach the mark??
Or even more to the point, how do we decide which goal must be had at all costs??? I thank Raffi Dobrin for always having great questions. He, Hazel, his wife and I enjoyed two outings at Organic Farms, both wonderful, and yet different.
Ben’s Farm http://bensfarm.co.il/ has made a herculean effort to convert part of his fields to shmitta requirements of nituk – the plants are covered both above and below – it took a lot of effort and money to create this and challenges one doesn’t come across in normal farming. This year more people are paying attention to shmitta – there are many levels that it can be kept
, and Ben is trying to keep it on the level that the ground of Israel not be worked.
Then there is Chubeza Farm, http://chubeza.com/?lang=en, which is a CSA and they follow heter mechira. Every Pesach and Sukkot, they open their fields to the public to come enjoy and it is quite impressive.
The question I as a Jew ask myself, to what level of shmitta do I keep? And it’s similar to the question I as one who loves macrobiotics, how strictly do I follow it? To both those questions, I’d like to do more, but I know it’s a goal to work towards and I am happy with as much as I do now.
A big part of macrobiotics is to eat organic – and many more people are recognizing how valuable that is. But like everything else, it’s a goal, some people are closer to and others still have a ways to go. After our outing at the organic farm, Raffi wrote this on facebook and with his permission, I’d like to share it: (and thank you, Hazel, for the photos)
Ralph Dobrin “Chubeza is an organic farm at Moshav Kfar Bin-Nun (not far from Latrun). A few families there farm a few dozen dunams of their collective land. Without the use of any harmful pesticides or conventionally used fertilizers they produce absolutely gorgeous vegetables, as shown in the pictures that Hazel has taken. They prove that abundant food yields of the highest quality, are possible without the use of all the harmful substances that find their way into human bodies. The claim that only industrialized farming using dangerous pesticides and chemical fertilizers can feed the world’s billions is being challenged by gallant organic farmers all over the world. They build up their soils with compost, manure, humus and the digging in of leaves from picked crops. They are hugely rewarded by Mother Nature. A truly religious person would probably recognize the helping Hand of the Creator, when these methods are used.
The time has come for all thinking people to work to stop the continuous harm of our natural resources, eagerly marketed through shrewd “agro”-conglomerates. A continuous call must be issued by the public for government incentives, coupled with encouragement to people with land — even a backyard — to go organic. Also, prices of retailers of organic produce must be reduced to enable this change. More farmland must gradually be converted to areas used for organic growing.”
We are entering the last two days of our chag commemorating not just our Freedom from slavery, but also the beginnings of our Nation, and as we used to say in America, “under G-d.” May He continue to lead us in His path, and may we have the sense to follow.