Aley Chubeza #291, May 23rd-25th 2016

Our great thanks to all who took the effort to save and return their empty Chubeza carton. We’re already reusing them. Joy!

Kindly open the masking tape, collapse the cardboard, and leave the flat carton for your Chubeza delivery man. This will help our delivery crew, and help Chubeza!

Many thanks.



With great happiness, just in time for the fast-approaching summer, we have finally prepared for you a simple, easy-to-use Guide to Storing Vegetables. It’s now uploaded to our website, starring all of the veggies we grow (but if we overlooked one, please advise). The alphabetical list can be printed and placed straight on your refrigerator door. Enjoy!

(For now, this Guide is in Hebrew only.)


With a bow on our shoulder and our flag raised tall We will march to the forest, one and all Today is Lag B’Omer! We draw our bow and send the arrow free; Then set the table under a tree – Today is Lag B’Omer! May the birds share our food and flowers drink away, It’s Lag B’Omer! Hurray, hurray!

Levin Kipnis (English: A. Raz)

Listen to the song here


Some thoughts about Lag B’Omer (with apologies to Bar Kochba, whom I am not a great fan of, for not taking the spotlight this time)

It’s Lag B’Omer this week, the holiday of extensive preparation and wood gathering, aiming for the biggest, greatest, tallest bonfires. A holiday of light? Interesting how this event reflects the extravagance and competitiveness within us and all around. And once again, the surprising (or maybe not anymore) and familiar feeling that insecurity, modesty, fear and stress can lead to compromise, understanding and acceptance, but also to an extravagant explosion and a swelling of self that perhaps does not lead us to a great place at all.

The weather forecast predicts rain on Tuesday. Not a great storm, but enough to send the wheat and hay farmers around us rushing to harvest the fields, cover the harvested hay and straw and gather the seeds into storage. These days of counting the Omer, the period between the beginning of the barley harvest at Passover and the beginning of wheat harvest on Shavuoth, is the moment in time when you’re nearing the end, you’re almost there, to reap in joy. The harvest has nearly reached the finish line, which is why it can also be lost all at once. There is a great deal of anxiety and wariness during this season. Heatwaves and dust storms, unexpectedly fierce rainfalls – all these can obliterate the fruits of the farmer’s labor right before s/he can heave his/her sigh of relief and appreciate his/her accomplishment. For this reason, the Omer has always been a period of waiting and praying, of carefully bending one’s head in modesty in the face of nature, God, earth, the weather.

Over the years other events were added, all grief and sorrow-related: an earthquake (connected to Joshua Bin Nun) during this time; the destruction of the Temple which led to the annulment of bringing the Omer and offering of the Two Loaves; the death of Rabbi Akiva’s students in an epidemic or war; the failure of Bar Kochba’s rebellion and the great losses incurred, and harsh persecution at the hand of the Crusaders. All these – the loss of religious and state liberty, the threats to life and limb and the blows to family and community – all connect to a difficult atmosphere, the feeling of freedom being denied and a lack of control over the situation and life itself. Definitely depressing and weakening.

In the midst of this, Lag B’Omer (which never even received its own name) comes along and pulls us up from the depths to a place of power and a demonstration of force: standing up to our fear, the danger of fire, the night and the darkness.  It doesn’t have to be so bad. It could be, and I remember it this way as a child, a magical night, with friends singing together – an empowering and exciting night. I think the secret lies in this togetherness.

The fearful farmers knew that the only chance they have to get through difficult periods, successfully overcoming the problems of working the earth, is by pulling together – working together in the fields, lending each other tools, helping out a farmer suffering from one problem or another. Finding the middle path and compromising to settle disputes instead of bringing down everybody’s yield with power struggles and battles.

Rabbi Akiva’s students, who allegedly were struck by the plague because they did not treat each other with respect, should have abandoned the stubborn zealousness and adopted a more respectful, accepting attitude. Even Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who rates a huge celebration in Meron every Lag B’Omer, had to learn a lesson in acceptance and togetherness. Emerging from the cave after 12 years of hiding from the Romans, he and his twelve-year-old son bitterly denounced and negated any activity that was not spiritual. He couldn’t bear anything that seemed to him mediocracy and compromise, and thus everywhere he looked caught fire. This behavior sent Rabbi Shimon and his son back to the cave for 12 more months, so as not to “destroy My world!” When they exited once again and met a man who honored the Sabbath with a pair of fragrant myrtles to adorn his home, they understood the importance of interaction between man and nature for life and persistence, and were ready for leadership.

But really, I believe everything moves in cycles. There is no such thing as “make weddings, not grief” or “don’t study Torah, become a farmer” or “ideology – out, cooperation and togetherness – in,” but rather a movement of entering and exiting, moving from one to another, from here to there. An older sister must declare her superiority at times, while at other times play equally with her younger siblings. We too need our modesty, but sometimes we need arrogance (to help us overcome the fear) and sometimes we want togetherness (while at other times, being alone can also work…).

Gilead Kariv writes about Lag B’Omer, attempting to understand the name and timing of this event, 33 days after the beginning of wheat harvest, and the tradition of postponing marriages till this day. He writes: “I only found the number 33 once in Biblical tradition. It is the segment beginning with the birth of a baby, stating that over the first 33 days after birth, the new mother undergoes a process of purification… Thus, if the raising of a sheaf of barley in the beginning of the period of counting the Omer symbolizes the rebirth of crops by Mother Earth, perhaps granting the 33rd day this festivity is a symbolic expression for the end of the earth’s purification after giving birth to nature in springtime. In Paganism, which ties between ceremonies of the individual and community and nature, the taboo on marriage during the period in which Creation is undergoing a process of purification from birth, may be conceived as understandable and necessary. By not marrying during this time, man identifies with nature and intensifies the process of Mother Nature’s purification.”


Perhaps the days of counting the Omer between Passover and Lag B’Omer, the days of anxiously waiting for the almost-mature wheat, mourning over the historical events which took place at the time, are days we should silently recluse and seclude ourselves. Time to make plans, think thoughts. Maybe it’s also the time to express some anger at the surroundings, to dissolve the poison and stress within us.  Those of us who have given birth can testify to the fact that the period following birth is not a tender lullaby-humming time, accompanied by gentle lavender-scented diaper changing…That first month following birth is one of great changes, lots of tears and blood and anger and confusion. And a whole lot of loneliness and seclusion.

And at the end of the purification period, the time of change, disassembling, undoing, there is hope for togetherness – for coming together with your partner, your friends, your family, your community. This is what Lag B’Omer is to me – an exciting bonfire that burns and dares and protests, even “the biggest and best bonfire in the neighborhood”, and burns all kinds of evil, but also sitting together on the ground and singing and eating simple food. Despite the damage to the environment, I don’t oppose bonfires. I believe they can be added to our celebrations in a manner that is not so harmful, as well described by Einat Kramer, I like it, it works for me.

Before saying goodbye, we wish a hearty Mazal Tov to Eleanor and Alon Karni on the birth of their son. Sending warm embraces and wishing you joy, sleep, health. Much love from us all!

Chag Sameach, with a sense of togetherness, and warm joyful bonfires,

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and the entire Chubeza team



Monday: Lettuce, parsley, tomatoes, Swiss chard, cucumbers/fakus, scallions, melon, beets, squash, parsley root, potatoes. Free gift: coriander/dill

Large box, in addition: Cabbage/leeks/artichokes, acorn squash/butternut squash,

Wednesday: Lettuce, parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers/fakus, scallions/leeks, acorn squash/melon, beets, squash, parsley root, potatoes, carrots. Free gift: coriander/dill

Large box, in addition: Swiss chard, garlic, butternut squash.

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, fruits, honey, dates, almonds, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products and goat dairy too! You can learn more about each producer on the Chubeza website. On our order system there’s a detailed listing of the products and their cost, you can make an order online now!