Planting and Harvesting

Here it is June and now the “dry heat” begins. Everything we experience until the High Holidays in September is not about the heat but about the continuity of life’s journey. It seems that we count time by the holidays which include the change of seasons. For me, it seems that the calendar flies by from one holiday to the next. Additionally, I see the plants start to bloom, the trees begin to blossom, and the earth come alive after sleeping all winter.

Our lives also concentrate on planting and harvesting. When we start out, we plant the seeds of our future by our actions and deeds. The growth that occurs is determined by the fertilizer we use and the water needed to assist in the development of that which has been planted.

Just what is the fertilizer? It consists of traditions and customs. It contains environment and habits that are learned from these exposures. As we get older, we discard some and develop others. That is part of growth. As with that which is planted, growth too accepts the environment that surrounds it, discarding some foliage and growing replacements. Life imitates nature as nature imitates human life. They are inseparable.

What is the water that sustains us? For vegetation it is rain. For us it is the water of knowledge and the benefits of exchange of ideas. It is allowing our minds to expand to absorb all that is around us, such as the plants do as they drink up the flow from springs and rivers.

Perhaps this is a circuitous way of explaining my thoughts for this time of the year – the time for relaxation – the time for slowing down – the time for planning, and the time for thoughts about our congregation.

We are a viable institution of learning and praying. We are also a collection of philanthropic and social individuals committed to the continuity of our heritage and faith. “We” happened because many dedicated people saw the need, answered the call and began a process that has changed with time. It is a living place with living emotions, living needs, living wants and desires. And we all share the pains that come with time: the loss of a loved one, the joy of celebrations. Through it all we see each other as we are, not as we think we should be.



Rabbi Irwin Wiener, D.D