paper cuts with images of leaves and flowers surrounding the Torah and other Jewish symbols.
An aha moment? You bet. Especially when I connected the fact that the
children of Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years and several
millenia later their descendants took that same desert, tamed it and
turned it into verdant fields.
Israel's modern agricultural miracle is a continuation of the rules the
Torah taught us about protecting the environment -- and like Tu B'Shvat,
Shavuot is a timely holiday for rejoicing over the environmental
protection blueprint which the Torah has provided.
Have a look at two of the many environmental lessons from the Torah that we can share with our children:
1. Orlah: Connect celebrating the appearance of first fruits with this
law teaching us that nature needs time to mature. While we rejoice over seeing
the first fruits of a tree (usually in the third year), to truly savor
its taste we must wait one more year before taking our first bite.
2. Bal Tash'khit: This Biblical law teaches us how to preserve the land.
Over the centuries the rabbis expanded on it to include the concept of
using only what is necessary.
Looking for another green connection with Shavuot? Try this out for
size: The story of Ruth incorporates the world's first food drive. After
all, didn't Boaz tell Ruth she could reap from the leftover bounty in
Green Bible Stories for Children for more eco-lesson ideas.