Growing up in Iowa and going to college in Kansas, exposed me to a lot of farm fields. While I didn’t grow up on a farm, many of my friends grew up on them. So, driving in a pickup truck to the fields at night and dancing around was a normal weekend for me as a Midwestern girl. While the farms didn’t belong to me personally, we all felt like they belonged to us. The economy of Iowa was supported by these lands. If the weather was good, simply put, people were happy.
In this week’s Torah portion, there indicates a relationship between the bounty of the land, and our ability to follow mitzvot. Leviticus 26:4 states: “If you follow My laws and faithfully observe My commandments, I will grant your rains in their season, so that the earth shall yield its produce and the trees of the field their fruit.” There is a direct correlation between our behavior and the environment.
I don’t remember anyone in Iowa thinking about their behavior during the flooding years. Perhaps, the cow tippers led to the flooding! But, if we do remember to take care of the Earth, we know that it will take care of us.
If we think of our synagogue community as our own field, our own farm, we do have the opportunity to nurture our own landscape. The fruits of our fields of work, are always there, and there is always an opportunity for you to get involved.
Thankfully, we have an amazing Social Action Program at KI that does just that. One of KI’s seven basic values is Tikkun Olam, (literally, “world repair.”). Our Social Action program focuses on food insecurity, sustainability, inclusion and education through a variety of community-based hands-on efforts.
This Shabbat, Saturday, May 12, 10:30 a.m., we have a Call to Action Shabbat. In this Shabbat, you will have the opportunity to hear from the heads of our Social Actions projects and you can choose how YOU will nurture the fields. The rewards are always plentiful in your heart and in your soul.
Cantor Amy E. Levy