I love the concept of “The Jewish Garden,” which Rabbi Dov Lev wrote about in an article by that name posted at Aish.com. The idea makes me feel happy, as most plants and flowers do.
Rabbi Lev writes, “The Torah exhorts us to love God. But how does one love an immortal, infinite, non-physical being? Maimonides teaches that one way is to focus on the wonders of Creation. When we observe how a little seed can transform into something so beautiful and alive, we are overcome with awe and appreciation for the Almighty.
“Mankind’s first mission was to tend a garden: Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden to look after and cultivate the beautiful garden that God prepared.
“God first appeared to Moses in a thorn bush, because God wanted to emphasize that even vegetative life is infused with the Divine Presence.
“The Sages tell us that one should not simply enjoy the beauty of nature for its own sake, but use it as an opportunity to praise God for creating such beauty in this world. Some of God’s most amazing miracles are happening right now in your own backyard!”
I feel beauty in nature all year round, but especially at this time of year, as the leaves change color.
My daughter and I recently went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a place that connects people to the world of plants, offering delight and inspiring appreciation. The flowers, plants, herbs and lily pond filled me with peace and tranquility.
I recommend prayers and gratitude while in a garden. It does wonders for the soul and makes you appreciate life as it is.
PATRICIA RASKIN, president of Raskin Resources Productions Inc., is an award-winning radio producer and Rhode Island business owner. She is the host of “The Patricia Raskin” show, a radio and podcast coach, and a board member of Temple Emanu-El, in Providence.