Jewish Farming Practices Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on Jewish farming practices.


Blogs

Earth Etude for Elul 24: Harachaman for Shmita

by Rabbi David Seidenberg As we approach Rosh Hashanah, we are also fast approaching the next Shmita year, when all the land in Israel was supposed to rest, all debts were supposed to be canceled, and all food was to be shared, even with the wild animals. Just like Elul through the High Holidays, the Shmita year itself was a long journey of t’shuvah, returning to God, during which our sense of business-as-usual could fall away, revealing what it means to be in community with each other and with the land. A human world that observed Shmita fully is a world that ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 21: Tikkun Olam and Climate Change

by Michael Garry Tikkun olam, which in Hebrew means “repair of the world,” has always been a guiding principle of the Jewish people, one that we teach our children and try to practice in our everyday lives.  In the modern era, tikkun olam means that Jews bear responsibility not only for their own moral, spiritual, and material welfare, but also for the welfare of society at large. It is well known that the welfare of the planet is now threatened by an environmental crisis called climate change, caused by unchecked emissions of carbon dioxide from ...

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My strategy ideas to help get veganism and environmental sustainability onto Judaism’s agenda and society’s agenda/Suggestions are very welcome

Victor Hugo famously said, “Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” Well, there is increasing evidence that the time has come to get veganism onto the Jewish agenda and, indeed,  onto society’s agenda, in order to avert a climate catastrophe and help shift our imperiled planet onto a sustainable path. Here are some reasons why this is so: 1. Our arguments are irrefutable. The most recent evidence of this is that my article, Why Jews Should Be Vegans,” was the cover story in the August 9 issue of the Jerusalem Report. It can be read at ...

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My podcast interview with Glen Merzer, author of the potentially transformative book, “Food Is Climate,” which argues that the only way to avert a climate catastrophe is through a societal shift to vegan diets.


Earth Etude for Elul 14: Turkey Tails and Teshuvah

by Rabbi Marisa Elana James In the park near my house is a large tree that fell last winter, the trunk slowly falling into decay thanks to four seasons of sun and rain and snow and wind slowly transitioning it back to the soil. When I pass it on walks, I always stop to see what’s new on the slowly-rotting trunk, because I’ve learned that it’s just as beautiful as the living, flowering trees that surround it. Mushrooms can grow incredibly fast, seemingly appearing from one day to the next, helping break down dead wood while taking nourishment from it. And ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 12~Shmita: The Seven Year Switch

by Mirele B. Goldsmith This Rosh HaShanah is also the start of the Shmita, the Sabbatical Year.  The Torah’s Shmita focuses on land as the nexus of our relationship to Earth and demands that we let it rest from the damage caused by agriculture. To ensure that everyone can participate, all debts are released.  During the Shmita year the produce of the land is shared so that everyone has what they need to survive.  Today, Earth is threatened by the exploitation of fossil fuels that is causing damage that was unimaginable to our ancestors.  But ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 10: Too Much of a Good Thing, or When All You’ve Ever Wanted is Really Too Much

by Rabbi Judy Kummer When this summer started, we in the Northeast were facing a drought. The levels of water in area lakes seemed to be down by as much as 4 feet, and rivers that should have been tumbling with early spring melt weren’t rushing and gurgling so much as dribbling, the vegetation on their nearby banks a droopy stunted mess. I was skeptical that the seedlings I had nurtured indoors all winter would survive if planted in my garden. And then, as we moved into summer, the rains began to fall. Where we gardeners may have expected an occasional rainfall to ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 6: I Am a Terrible Gardener

by Rabbi Megan Doherty I am a terrible gardener. But I garden anyway. I hate weeding. I water my plants too much, or too little. I don’t know from fertilizer, or mulch, or those fancy cages which keep out the deer and the birds. I live in rural Ohio, and when I look at the thriving mini-farms my neighbors create and tend, I want to throw my hands up in despair. But I plant. One year, my dad showed up at our house with a bunch of lumber and built raised beds in our backyard. The process was a beacon for awestruck kindergartners, who showed up with ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 5: Choosing Life as Nerds for the Earth

by Harvey Michaels ~Moses’ final message from G-d: This day…I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.  For millennia we have reflected on what it means to choose life; realizing that it is not always our life we’re choosing – our choices are more about our children and theirs; our communities, and our world. What does it mean to Choose Life for the Earth?  In recent years, I’m privileged to ask this question to classrooms of talented young people, and learned that when ...

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Plans for activities for restoring the ancient Jewish New Year for Animals and transforming it into a day devoted to improving conditions for animals.

     I am working with other Jewish veg activists to organize many events in an historic, potentially transformative initiative to restore the ancient New Year for Animals and to transform it into a day devoted to increasing awareness  of Jewish teachings about compassion to animals and how far current realities are from these teachings. The events will also consider how animal-based diets and agriculture seriously violate basic Jewish teachings about preserving human health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving ...

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Rainbow Day is May 8-9 in 2021, the week following Shabbat Behar-Bechukotai!

Celebrate Rainbow Day and the Rainbow Covenant with all Life! The first covenant in the Torah, when Noah leaves the ark, is a covenant with all creatures, and a covenant with the Earth itself, not just with humanity. There are so many ways you can teach about this covenant, the rainbow covenant, on the day it was established! What is Rainbow Day?  On the 27th day of the second month, Noah, his family, and all the animals that were with them left the ark (Genesis 8). Exactly one lunar year and ten days before—one complete solar year—the flood began on ...

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Jewish quotations about animals

1. God’s original dietary lawAnd God said: "Behold, I have given you every herb-yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree that has seed-yielding fruit - to you it shall be for food."Genesis 1:29God did not permit Adam and his wife to kill a creature to eat its flesh. Only every green herb shall they all eat together.Rashi’s commentary on Genesis 1:29You are permitted to use the animals and employ them for work, have dominion over them in order to utilize their services for your subsistence, but must not hold their life cheap nor slaughter ...

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Hazon announces Shmita prizes

View this email in your browserMarch 4th, 2021 | 20th Adar  Dear Richard,(If you want to go straight to info on The Shmita Prizes - click here.) But first, I want to put these prizes in context, beginning with a word about shabbat, shmita’s temporal Jewish sibling. The world needs shabbat right now. We need boundaries. We need rest. We need time when we switch off electronics. We need at least one day that we don’t buy stuff. We need at least one day that we spend with family and friends. After a boundary-less year of covid, our need for some kind of ...

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Review of my latest book, “Vegan Revolution: Saving Our World, Revitalizing Judaism,” the 8th review of the book

Vegan Revolution, Saving our World, Revitalizing Judaism by Richard H. Schwartz is primarily directed toward a Jewish audience, but its message is for everyone in the world. In Vegan Revolution, Richard Schwartz proves from both the Hebrew Bible and other texts, and scientific evidence that a vegan lifestyle saves the whole of God's creation, and that it has been God's intent since the beginning. He shows how a vegan livestyle not only saves billions of animals, but also saves human lives by preventing many diseases, and by feeding the hungry of the world, and ...

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Jerusalem Post writeup of my Tu Bishvat activities

■ REGULAR READERS of The Jerusalem Post may have last Friday read the review of the latest book by Richard Schwartz, PhD, Vegan Revolution: Saving Our World, Revitalizing Judaism. Just in time for Tu Bishvat which is a celebration of nature and its bounty, Schwartz has initiated an international campaign to “Celebrate Tu Bishvat as if Global Survival Matters.” A fervent vegan, Schwartz believes that Tu Bishvat, the most vegan and the most environmental Jewish holiday, should become a Jewish Earth Day and that Tu Bishvat Seders should be used, among other ...

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My review of the recently published book, “Animal Agriculture is Immoral,” published in Animals 24-7


Watch Richard Schwartz’s interview on how plant-based diets can help save our world…

Richard Schwartz will be interviewed on Monday, October 19 at 8:30 PM Israeli time, 1:30 PM US eastern time, by the Israeli organization "Root and Branch." He will be discussing his unprecedented, potentially transformative campaign, in conjunction with his recently published book, VEGAN REVOLUTION: SAVING the WORLD, REVITALIZING JUDAISM, to promote veganism and to try to shift our imperiled planet onto a sustainable path...   The link to register is: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0ld--trzkvE9U3pQB8jT8zFne3W7iQDSK8   Some of what will be discussed: ...

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New Year for Animals Zoom Discussion in USA

You are cordially invited to attend a Zoom discussion of the historic, potentially transformative initiative to restore the ancient New Year for Animals and to transform it into a day devoted to increasing awareness of Jewish teachings about compassion to animals and how far current realities are from these teachings. It will also consider how animal-based diets and agriculture seriously violate basic Jewish teachings about preserving human health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, helping hungry people, and ...

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New Year for Animals Zoom Discussion in Israel

You are cordially invited to attend a Zoom discussion of the historic, potentially transformative initiative to restore the ancient New Year for Animals and to transform it into a day devoted to increasing awareness of Jewish teachings about compassion to animals and how far current realities are from these teachings. It will also consider how animal-based diets and agriculture seriously violate basic Jewish teachings about preserving human health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, helping hungry people, and ...

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Invitation to Zoom event discussing an initiative to renew the ancient New Year for Animals and to transform it into a day devoted to discussing Jewish teachings on compassion to animals and how animals are mistreated today

Shalom, You are cordially invited to attend a Zoom discussion of the historic, potentially transformative initiative to restore the ancient New Year for Animals and to transform it into a day devoted to increasing awareness  of Jewish teachings about compassion to animals and how far current realities are from these teachings. It will also consider how animal-based diets and agriculture seriously violate basic Jewish teachings about preserving human health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, helping hungry ...

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