Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the world. That’s big stuff starting Monday evening! There is so much going on right now in preparation, for Rosh Hashanah, for the Labor Day long weekend, to cleanup from this latest deluge of water (so many plants knocked over and roots soaked) as well as the daily activities that continuously move us forward.
’ll need this Shabbat to take a break from it all. Yet, it’s not simply a time of rest to prepare for the New Year.
It’s just to be.
In many ways the heavy rainstorm we just had was perfect practice. To sit on the covered porch and watch and listen to the heavy rains. To be only in that moment and not in the future.
This. Is. The Essence. Of Shabbat.
This Rosh Hashanah also starts the 7th year of the Shmita cycle, as it is written:
Rav Kook was the first Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of British Mandate Palestine. In his introduction to Shabbat Ha’Aretz, he writes: “What the Sabbath does for the individual, the Shmita does for the nation as a whole. The Jewish people, in whom the godly, creative force is planted eternally and distinctively, has a special need to periodically reveal the divine light within itself with full intensity. Our mundane lives, with their toil, anxiety, anger, and competition do not entirely suffocate this creative force. On the Shmita, our pure, inner spirit may be revealed as it truly is. (Page 95)
When I think about sustainability, I think about Shabbat. Definitions of sustainability reference meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Shabbat was integral to the story of Creation; the world was not complete without it.
For me, regenerative agriculture is based in the idea of Shabbat. According to Merriam Webster, the definition of regeneration is:
1: an act or the process of regenerating: the state of being regenerated
2: spiritual renewal or revival
3: renewal or restoration of a body, bodily part, or biological system (such as a forest) after injury or as a normal process
I enter this time with awe and humility.
May we all be blessed with setting up regenerative systems this Shmita year!