Farming, Climate and Judaism

By Carol Devine

Right hand holding two radishes recently plucked from the ground.The first human, according to Torah, is formed from the dust of the ground by God. God breathes life into the human and given the name Adam which comes from the Hebrew noun, Adamah meaning earth or dirt or soil. In Genesis 2.15, God placed the human in the garden to till and keep it. The Hebrew verbs, according to Eco Bible (Neril & Dee), are le’ovdah which means “to serve it” and le’shomrah which means “to guard it.”

We are earthlings made from the earth, created to serve and guard that from which we were made. Without the humus (compost), we cannot live. We seem to have lost that very important knowledge somewhere along the way. But more and more people of faith are rediscovering and reconnecting with the soil – planting flowers and vegetables, plants and trees – and in doing so are deepening their faith and caring for their spirits.

I had the amazing opportunity to talk with two farmers who are farming as an expression of their Jewish faith. Farming is faith in action for them. Raphaela Gold is an 18-year-old who put off going to college in order to learn to farm. Justin Goldstein, ended a professional career as a rabbi to become a regenerative farmer. Hear how being of the land is an organic part of Judaism and how these two people have rediscovered Jewish wisdom through farming.

Farming, Climate and Judaism

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