Tu BiShevat: L’Dor V’Dor
Tu BiShevat: L’Dor V’Dor
One of my favorite things about Adat Ari El’s campus is all of the foliage. It is a singular joy as I walk my son, Ryan, in and out of the school. Ryan is a little over a year old and is only now a sturdy enough walker to step jovially from the parking lot and into the courtyard of ADAT. Along the way, he stops and points at all the roses, leaves, trees, and other plant life on our way to the ECC. After dropping him off on Monday mornings, I usually stop to take care of the plants in Tower Gardens (which have moved from the outdoor chapel to our lunch area).
Last week, this routine changed, when the Kindergarten class started to take over my responsibilities of these gardens. As part of a larger project, our Kinder “Garden” has started monitoring the growth of the herbs and lettuce that are growing. As they grow, our students will harvest them and will prepare salads and other treats for the rest of our community. The Kindergarteners are also revitalizing our Biblical Garden (the garden behind the DFC) with their Sixth Grade buddies. Similarly, Morah Mali is planting parsley with her First and Second Grade classes and the students are monitoring its growth. The First and Second Graders hope that their parsley will be ready to be dipped in salt water by Passover.
I cannot wait to see the impact these projects will have on our students. It is a miraculous experience to take care of a living thing, watch it grow, and have it – in turn – take care of you through the nourishment it can provide. The symbiotic relationship that humans can have with plants is a powerful one. This is why Tu BiShevat is a very special holiday to me. It is a reminder to be grateful to the trees for all that they offer us and a reminder of the responsibility we have to take care of them.
At the Rabbi’s minyan on Wednesday, Rabbi Bernhard read a story to our students that teaches the importance of taking care of the Earth for the next generation. This idea is most tangible to me when I walk my son to school. I watch him enjoy the splendor of the nature that I often miss because it hits him just at his eye-level. He stops and points, and I get to see the leaves or the flowers that I usually rush by, as if for the first time. When this happens, I am full of gratitude for the beauty that surrounds us here at ADAT and in the world. I am also aware of the awesome responsibility to protect our Earth for the next generation.
I wish you a wonderful and reflective Tu BiShevat. L’dor V’dor and Shabbat Shalom.