Started my car in the early morning dawn and whoosh became enveloped in a wave of swelling pale orange. Wow, and seriously WOW! Hopefully you have also had the chance to experience the unusually large migration of Painted Lady Butterflies awash in your garden, driveway, on a hiking path or just the grocery store’s outdoor flower stands in the past month.
I’m not sure whether it’s my desire to notice the connections or whether they are so manifest I’d have to intentionally ignore them to miss. Regardless, I’m feeling right about what we’re doing this year in religious school and hopefully enough anavah (humility) to also grow my capacity for hacarat ha tov (gratitude). Using a “Hive Alive” approach to learning, all grades are engaged in study and exploration of how bees in nature and Torah can inform our Jewish experience; from community to individual.
In addition to learning Hebrew, prayer and history, the 6th and 7th grade led by Rich Levine and Alan Rubin, are building honey bee hives and, in the words of moreh Rich blending “the biology and theology of the role of man and nature, from the Jewish lens.” Karen Bennett’s 4th and 5th grade class are lead creators for a newly painted CBE picnic table design highlighting the diversity and beauty in our environment and among its smaller inhabitants. Jodi Dorkin’s 2nd and 3rd grade along with our youngest religious schoolers are learning about their roles as caretakers of the earth and each other. Solitary bee homes are among the many activities they will be working on this year.
In addition to providing delicious honey and excellent candle making material, bees are invaluable to the planet as pollinators and thus food providers, and not just for our-selves. Maybe we can recognize our co-dependence and partnership with nature, and dare I say, with God, by just appreciating the AWEsome cool of the abundance of butterflies this fall that needed a reliable resource for their migration. Ah, how sweet it is!