This week we observed Tisha B’Av, a traditional fast day that commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and the Second Temple in Jerusalem. In addition to thinking about the loss of the temple, we focused on other forms of collective loss we experience both as a Jewish people and as creatures on this planet.
The fast lasts about 25 hours, beginning at sunset on the eve of Tisha B’Av (this past Monday night) and ending at nightfall the next day. In addition to the prohibitions against eating or drinking, I also observed prohibitions against showering, applying creams or oils, wearing leather shoes, and engaging in sexual activity. Though I have never observed Tisha B’Av before, I have always found fasting on Yom Kippur to be a meaningful experience. As we are all learning at Adamah, food (and its absence) physically, emotionally, and spiritually connects us to each other and to the natural world, cultivating a profound sense of oneness and holiness.
All summer long, I have been savoring the food I have grown and eaten here, from my favorite Isabella Freedman dining hall meal (spanikopita made with our own kale!) to the Shabbat meal I cooked this past Shabbat with four other Adamahniks (yakisoba, sushi, and tempura with beets, carrots, onions, and squash from our field!). So I didn’t imagine it would be possible to appreciate the food even more after the fast, but I am.
Submitted by Rachel Ackoff, Summer 2011
As the Adamaniks, a microcosmic am yisrael, emerge from the sukkah this week, the mantra yakim lanu et sukkat david hanofelet, raise the shattered sparks of our Self, reverberates from my spirit. We have been spending our days in the fields harvesting the bounties of the summer as the autumn begins to slow the sadeh down. It is impossible not to shout out in awe at this sprouting bronze and rust landscape, at the misty fresh mornings, at the towering twelve foot tall sunflowers, or the site of a colony of brussel sprouts growing in the ground.
The field has become my temple. I can take a step back from the ego mind and become a steward in the humming ecosystem that is a function of so many vital and separate elements. I think of the Adamahniks of seasons past that put their love and sweat into preparing the fields and sowing seeds so that we can enter and join the throngs of work while we whistle songs of peace.
During Sukkahfest at Isabella Freedman we sat with community of all sorts, sang in the most goosebumps of harmony, and ate food from not even a mile away. This is something that I savor from this week. Like Avraham sat and welcomed guests from a tent of no sides, I think of sitting in this tent of three sides as gradually moving toward a space of Chesed, lovingkindness that Avraham incarnated. This concept can seem overwhelming to me. I have made intentions to reconnect with the earth, to learn about her seasons and how to protect and work in symbiosis with her. I have made intentions to feed myself and others consciously with an awareness of health and eco-kashrut and so as the new year and its Indian wedding of celebrations has flown by I stand by the value in living chesed, in living in a way that is creative and cooperative standing against destruction and division.
We learned this week in more ways than one of Rav Kook’s teaching to pray in the field so that the blades of grass and the shrubs of the field will come into our prayer strengthening our song. This again enlivens the work that we do by reconnecting with the land so that this, be it sowing or harvesting, laying compost or mulching becomes a prayer with nature which raises our voices in peace and communion.
Chag Sameach and Shana Tova!
Faryn-Beth Hart, Fall 2010 Fellow