How do we know that God also gardens?
From the Psalms, for its ays that “tiny plants in God’s house, in God’s backyard, will flourish.”*
Where ever the summer takes you I hope you will be planting and nurturing. July is a time for friends and family, a time to nourish ourselves in the sun, to rest and recharge. Summer is a time when we can plant and harvest and taste the whole world in a strawberry or a tomato or even a zucchini that we pick from our gardens.
Social Action Chair Elaine Goldhammer has proposed that we pool our extra garden produce and donate the fresh harvest to our local food pantries. She calls this new initiative the Beth Chaim “Zucchini Squad.” Reach out to her through the directory or through our office if you have extra bounty that you would like to share with those in Chester County with limited access to fresh produce.
I will be out of the office in July but there will be services led by Denise Moser and Julie Robertson, to nurture body and soul. There will always be a rabbi on call for emergencies. I am grateful to the board for this time to sow my own seeds of creativity for next year as we look forward to more wonderful community building and spirit filled innovation at Beth Chaim. I will also be traveling to Camp Harlam to spend a full 10 days out of doors on faculty with our young people in the most innovative, loving, and beautiful Reform Jewish Camp setting.
Here is a kavanah for your summer planting. Whether you are planting a new garden or sowing seeds for harvest in the the fall:
I have planted my garden with hope and trust. Let me be awake to the wonder of this garden. As I tend to this garden, let me tend to my own capacity to sustain life.*Happy Planting Beth Chaim! Rabbi Michelle Pearlman
*Modern Midrash and prayer from CLAL in their wonderful Book ofJewish Sacred Practices published by Jewish Lights