This letter is about a unique and profound relationship that has existed for thousands of years. It’s about the Land of Israel and the Jewish people. Israel was and is today a religious, political and economic entity, a home to those who live there. The Land of course has a deeper, spiritual meaning for us and the world and to those connected to her especially. Unlike many countries in the Middle East, it lacks natural resources to such an extent that it demands considerable intellectual effort and physical exertion to eke out a living. At the same time we see prophecy coming true by it returning to be a Land flowing with milk and honey. I can give you my testimony at seeing the entire topography of our area in the heart of Israel turn from grey to green.
We are now approaching the end of the shemitah year (the Sabbatical year) when helping others is not just a fulfillment of divine command but a natural consequence of reality. We believe the Land comes from Hashem and the livelihood within it. At the same time, this sphere of time teaches us to open our hearts to those in need. “And it shall be a rest for the Land- what grows shall be for you to eat, you and your servant” (Vayikra 25:6). The farmers give- but now it also a time for us to give them.
It goes without saying that the farmers here on Itamar are not only applying the Torah commandments in their holy work, but they are the key factor in being able to bridge the Lands between the Jordan Valley and the coastal area at times literally with their fingernails, keeping it secure as they develop it. Itamar is the vanguard of organic food production in Judea and Samaria maintaining the principles of biodiversity, ecological balance sustainability, using methods also of natural pest management and natural plant fertilization and soil integrity. The farmers here are committed to fostering healthy soil and growing conditions as well as free ranging all livestock. They do not administer hormones or antibiotics to the animals. Regardless of one’s beliefs on the political spectrum is, all people delight in her delicious organic products. As we prepare for the next agricultural year we have to rely on help from the outside to push this farming mitzvah/ideology forward. Even just attaining the proper security methods in safeguarding these areas of open expanse is a very big undertaking let alone helping the farmers prepare for the coming agricultural year.
What can you do?
If we can have enough people that can help, even a little a little goes a long way. We can help make their impossibility a reality and bring to life the prophecy of Isaiah, 62:4 “You shall no more be termed Forsaken and your land shall be no more termed desolate. You shall be called My delight is in Her!” Please help us make this happen! Friends of Itamar has received tremendous requests for support in this endeavor, it is vital that we broaden our support network. Have your friends get involved! Please see this link: http://touritamarsupportisrael.com/donation-select/
Wishing you a restful and enjoyable summer!
Thank you so much for all of your help!
Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith
Friends of Itamar