Farming with Faith

Question

A relative was a farmer. I’m a city boy and never really got what he did except for enjoying the great food that he produced! I was wondering what significance Judaism places on agriculture – besides the food. By the way, my relative lived simply by my standards, but was certainly very happy and righteous. Thank you.

, , 4 months

Answers

  1. It does not surprise me to read that your relative lived a happy life even though it was a “simple” life. There is something about farming that gives people the most incredible sense of fulfillment despite (or because?) of the tremendous amount of hard work it involves. I have a relative who is a farmer and he told me once that what the same sense of satisfaction that I get out of the religious books that I study all day long he gets out of the ground.

    In any event, what significance does Judaism place on agriculture? An enormous amount! There are many, many laws that pertain to agriculture and the Festival cycle also connects to the harvests. In the Holy Temple a large part of the ceremonies that took place at specific periods of the year were related to the crops and the harvests. In fact, so great were some of the rites that the Mishna relates, Bikurim 3:3, that there was an  enormous spiritual awakening when the farmers would come to Jerusalem to bring their offerings, so much so that the people of Jerusalem would down-tools and stand up in the honor!

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team