This year it seemed that even the Sugar Maple Trees at Isabella Freedman Retreat Center in Falls Village, CT celebrated Purim. We’ve been tapping about 30 trees over the last three weeks, during this short late-winter maple syrup tapping season. On the day before Purim, unlike any other day until now, some of the buckets were bone dry. Maybe the trees were reminding me to fast? Purim night, conditions were terrible for sap flow; the temperature stayed above freezing all night and by nine in the morning it was already over fifty degrees. The trees flow best when it dips below freezing at night and reaches forty degrees during the day, so I would never have predicted that by eleven o’clock on Thursday morning most of the buckets would be full to the brim with cool sweet sap.
“So long as Kosher consumers demand cheap meat, and a lot of it, the big slaughterhouses and packing plants will continue to churn it out as quickly and inexpensively as possible.” – Sue Fishkoff, “Kosher Nation: Why More and More of America’s Food Answers to a Higher Authority”
Tshuvah, the Jewish idea of repentance is usually associated with Yom Kippur and atoning. But it’s actual meaning is return, an idea that Ilana Margolit, a nutritionist with a spiritual bent and Nigel Savage, the director of Hazon clarified in their Hazon East Coast Food Conference session “The Tshuvah of Feeding oneself,” this morning.