Tisha B'Av is COMING. Are you ready?

For each day of the Three Weeks, Erica presents a short, inspirational essay based on biblical texts followed by a kavana—an exercise that involves reflection, imagination or action—to transform these somber days of remembrance into a period of introspection and spiritual growth. Alongside the traditional prophecies of doom and consolation traditionally read during the Three Weeks, In the Narrow Places offers a new process for rebuilding and a re-affirmation of hope.

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July 23, 2015

To Plant or Not To Plant 

There is a time to plant and a time not to plant. Right now in the Jewish calendar year, we are not supposed to plant. During the nine days leading up to and including the ninth of the Hebrew month of Av, we diminish activities of happiness and risk; this includes gardening for pleasure. The sixteenth-century code of Jewish law, the Shulkhan Arukh, writes: “As we enter the month of Av, we diminish joy...from the first of the month until the fast, we reduce business dealings, housing construction for the purpose of happiness [like a house a man might build for his son, the groom]...and refrain from planting for pleasure...” [O.H. 551:1-1].

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