Spring is truly with us, even as many days feel wetter and greyer than we might like! That said our garden is full of colour – purple magnolia, tulips, daffs, bluebells, clematis – all bursting throughout our yard, each blossom a blessing. Our yard is full of food too – a window box is full of Miner’s lettuce waiting for that first springtime salad – karpas of sorts. As I write this, the world is observing Earth Day, a universal Yom Kippur, both a day of atonement, a day of at–one–ment (thank you, Reb Louis), and a day of renewal and new beginnings.
Torah teaches us over and over that life and love means always having that opportunity to make amends, to begin again, to follow through with the guidelines of the mitzvot – “Love thy neighbour as thyself” – and who could we possibly love more than this precious neighbour, this source of life, the earth upon which we stand?
Rabbi Hillel’s negative formulation took that phrase from Kedoshim and moved those words from the abstract to concrete action: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow” (Shabbat 31a). In ways both positive and negative, let’s build repair into our daily lives.
Let’s take the time, let’s pay attention, in ways large and small to build repair into what has been torn. From mending our clothes to mending our relationships, we have much to do. As Pirke Avot teaches, (Ethics of our Fathers), Chapter 2:16; “… (Rabbi Tarfon) used to say… It is not up to you to finish the task, but you are not free to avoid it.”
Kol tuv,Rabbi Lynn