Bereishit 2020 Back to the Garden
A young boy in Itamar has set out to prepare the organic garden for autumn. Intuitively, he knows what to do. He tills the earth in a knowing way, it’s in his DNA. Right above the ridge of high rockery, the goats are herding on the craggy mountainside of Givot Olam Farm. Just east of there and below, date farms are being prepared on a different terrain in the low Jordan Valley where the weather will be warmest as winter approaches. You can just make out the neat even rows of green in contrast to the stark nakedness of the tan bare panorama. The entire landscape was blank and naught grew here until the last decades. The crumbling blighted land commanded a common replacement theology theory – it, and we had been forsaken; the tidings of extinction demonstrated by the emptiness.
But then something happened at the intuitive hour when the turtledove chirped its squeal and coo of return. Soon, a chattering on this thorny reality. Just as the hottest and driest part of the year makes the garden yawn forward like a bent old man, as the thistle bushes crack and lean, the dew becomes generous at night and drips from the climbing vine that gratefully drinks in the light of the moon, before the morning sunshine of mid- October. I don’t know, but something makes me sentimental now, it drives me back to the garden.”ויקח ה אלוקים את האדם ויניחהו בגן עדן לעבדה ולשמרה” – Hashem took man and placed him in the garden to guard and keep it. The template and remedy was set. A secret cocktail for health, vitality, energy and the spark of life. You need to get your hands in it.
We are living in a time of techno madness, with incredible stress, intensive urbanization not to mention the world reels in a global pandemic. Our environment is poisoned. At the same time though people are turning to new methods in its wake- natural resources are being discovered, holistic healing, a greater interest in preserving nature- even in urban areas. People are returning to the garden. The organic bed– even in your window box containers. An old pot, tub, all the relics you have been uncovering in the junk you’ve stored away and are only now finding can all be the new key to return to ecology. Don’t hesitate on this day of clouds and breezes in this pleasant sun. Let it hug you. I prune for restoration. If you are a stow away in your own yard now, you can make a stone crushed path that will transform your home appear like amore antique look. Despite the incredible distractions of life, here in the lockdown animals roam freely over highways, wild boars strut through city streets, a jackal drinks from a kiddy pool. Soon the mountain lion will return!
In a vision no-one believed possible prophecies are being realized. Leviticus 19:23 “When you come to the Land you shall plant.” – “You, mountains of Israel shall give forth your branch and bear fruit for My people!”- Psalms 103:14,15 “You will have mercy on Zion, you will have favored her dirt.” Abraham returned to the garden in 1948 BCE. I look to the ancient grey and blackened terrace walls formed here when Ephraim came to settle. Finally, after years of planning it, we built a small hothouse. Discovering the pits and cisterns of old, we actualized the idea and made our own water pit behind the house from the run off of precious rain that stops every year in late February. Next week we will pray for rain. As we come closer to Geulah, we come closer to knowing Adam and “Adamah”(earth), to reconnecting to this clod of soil that is me. To the GAN. I take in its scent now and hold my breath. I want to know it.
Shabbat shalom! Leah