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Congregation Beth Israel

Bangor Maine

Made in Tel Aviv, Israel by Virtuti-D
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Social Action Update – August 2015

UNPLUGGED AND ROOTED
Last  night on my way into shul I saw Miriam kneeling in the shul’s beautiful vegetable garden, weeding away.  Monday evening, on my way in to Biblical Hebrew class, Rabbi Siemers was just finishing work in the garden, a time he said makes him feel relaxed and peaceful at the end of the day.  Our shul garden is beautiful; the plants are thriving, cared for by caring individuals. If you haven’t yet walked across the grass to look over the fence, I urge you to do so.  Kale, squash, tomatoes, various herbs, lettuces — even corn plants– are growing there.
To work and protectGardening has always been a therapeutic endeavor for me, and for my clients who are so inclined, or who are able, I urge them to dig around in the dirt a little, or at least to set aside some time every day to spend in healing nature.  As we become more connected and attached to our smartphones and technology of all kinds in order to become more connected to the world, ironically this results in becoming more disconnected and removed from the world of nature around us — and from the sources of the food we eat.  If you doubt this, just look around you when you’re out walking.  People are looking at their phones and texting as they walk, they’re sitting in restaurants texting and checking Facebook rather than conversing with their friends and enjoying the food.  (A great recent book on this is titled “Alone Together.” http://alonetogetherbook.com)
There is a Jewish Food Movement afoot to help integrate Jewish values of kashruth with responsibility towards the planet — including locally-sourced food and humane treatment of farm animals. Check out the website below and explore it for ideas of how you can incorporate some of this into your food choices.
Think about buying more local food to help support our small farmers here in Maine and to make a smaller footprint on this over-stressed planet.  And try to unplug a bit more from technology and step out yourself if you are able.  Re-connect with the beautiful natural world that we are blessed with here in Maine.  The summer is fleeting, but it has been well worth the wait!
Jennie Goldenberg, Social Action Committee