Feasting and Fasting: Tisha B’av Beit Midrash
Feasting and Fasting: Tisha B’av Beit Midrash (House of Study)
by Jill Zenoff, The Gan Project, Northside P.O.W.E.R.
Tisha B’av is a day of fasting, but how do you host a Jewish event without food? This Sunday July 29, 2012, The Gan Project will host an afternoon of interactive learning about hunger midst plenty, community-based farming as a way to create food security, and Jewish traditions around food, eating, fasting, and celebrating.
We (Jews) have had a storied history filled with twists and turns, high highs and low lows for sure. Our collective memory is long, and we acknowledge both our victories and our defeats in a yearly cycle when most others might try to gloss over the less pleasant times. We regularly look back in reflection so that we might avoid making the mistakes of the past and honor the memory and wisdom of our ancestors. We then use that knowledge to navigate through life’s challenges as we heal from wounds old and new, and work towards creating a better more just society. After all, that is what we have been tasked to do as a people, to pursue justice, Tzedek, and repair the world, Tikkun Olam.
As a people we were once agrarians; farmers, shepherds, botanists, arborists, and food preservation experts. Our lives were so profoundly connected to the land that the very foundations of our faith were written in the language of agriculture. Our ancestors lived their lives based on their indisputable knowledge that true wealth was (and still is) perishable.
Given this ancient piece of collective knowledge, what are the implications of voluntarily going a day without food, as we daily partake in a globalized food system that disenfranchises its workers, destroys our Eco-systems, and leaves millions of people hungry every day? How can we continue to partake in a system that operates as the antithesis of our heritage?
This Sunday July 29, 2012 we will be joined by the Hazon cross country bike riders for an afternoon of interactive learning about hunger midst plenty, community-based farming as a way to create food security, and Jewish traditions around food, eating, fasting, and celebrating. Sunday July 29, 2012 from 1:00-5:00 PM at The Gan Project Homestead (@Bernard Horwich JCC 3003 W. Touhy Ave Chicago IL 60645). Register at www.hazon.org/chicago