Judaism's ancient texts speak to our challenges today, and we draw inspiration and strength from their wisdom.
L’dor v’dor / Generation to generation
- a theme found in the Passover Hagadah and throughout the Torah
Ever since God's covenant with Abraham, Jewish tradition has envisioned the children of the future. These children need our help now more than ever before. We honor the covenant as we strive to take on the principles of sustainability, defined as "meeting the needs of the current generation without hampering the ability of future generations to meet theirs."
Lo alecha hamealcha ligmor / It is not up to you to complete the task
- Pirkei Avot/Ethics of our Sages, 2:16
While it is not on us not to complete the task, neither may we desist from it. Indeed, the consolidation of factory farms and food companies that supply most of our food is a formidable force. Grow and Behold is not going to change the way all Jews eat. However, we hope that we can influence a few, and in so doing, make a better life for the farmers, animals and consumers that we can touch.
L’ovdah u’l’shomra / To till and to tend
- Genesis 2:15
God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, to till and to tend it. We understand that we have the opportunity to manipulate our environment to our own end, but that we must also guard it and care for it.
Tza'ar Ba’alei Chayim / Avoiding cruelty to animals
- Talmud, Baba Metzia 32b, based on Exodus 23:5
We learn from a variety of Jewish sources that we must not cause suffering to animals. Our farmers extend this care to their animals throughout their lives, and we take utmost care not to cause the animals any undue stress during the shechita (slaughter) process.
Vachalta v’savata uveirachta / When you have eaten, and are satisfied, you shall bless
- Deuteronomy 8:10
Eating can be many things. If we are fortunate enough for eating to not be a daily struggle, then we must make sure that it is, on the contrary, an act of celebration. When we are satisfied by the food that nourishes us, we are obligated to give thanks and to bless the Source of our food and our sustenance. Eating is yet another way to tap into the divine spark of creation that surrounds us at every moment.