Cherokee Purple Tomatoes

Shalom aleichem!

Mazel tov to QC alum Daniel Saleman on his upcoming marriage to Rebecca Erenrich!

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Some of you may know that I have a penchant for gardening. Our front porch is home to a modest urban garden, which this year has produced delicious kirby cucumbers, radishes, beets, jalapenos (our oldest son suggested that we grow our own and make schug, the fiery Yemenite spread), green string beans, bell peppers, and a few types of tomatoes.Cherokee Purple tomatoes and kirbys

The highlight so far has been, hands down, the Cherokee Purple tomatoes. They are gorgeous and absolutely delicious, I only wish there were more of them!

I am often awed at how tiny seeds can produce so many diverse products, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

There is a tradition to study a portion of the Tanya every day. Tanya was written by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the first Chabad Rebbe, and serves as a foundational text for Chassidic thought. This past week the topic was gardening! Well, sort of 🙂

Rabbi Shneur Zalman writes that our sages compare the giving of Tzedakah (charity) to planting seeds. Just as the product of a seed is immensely greater in quality and quantity that the original seed, so too, the impact of charitable giving is profoundly more powerful than just the amount of money contributed.

A  bit more: A seed is able to unleash tremendous growth when buried beneath the ground. It acts, so to speak, as a trigger for growth way beyond itself. Likewise, tzedakah unleashes a great impact, way beyond the mere cents and dollars donated.

Giving tzedakah — “planting seeds” — is good for you, good for the recipient, and is sure to be a catalyst for great things!

Shabbat Shalom,