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Longing for Qishuim in the Desert: A Torah Story

Updated: May 17, 2022

Telling by Sonia Brin

May 2022 | Iyar 5782

A long time ago, there were a people, perhaps our people, who endured generations of suffering and oppression in a narrow place, Mitzrayim. And then they were freed, and they began their journey of liberation out of Mitzrayim, that narrow place. And part of this journey involved wandering for years and years (40 years to be exact) through the desert. And I don't know if you’ve ever trekked through a desert, but it was hot and dry and they were tired, thirsty, and grumpy.

For these people, the place they used to be, that contracted place of suffering, was the only place they knew, and the unknown of what was ahead was scary. Getting free is scary. So they held onto the memory of the comforts of what they used to have and they yearned for them.

The Torah tells the story in Numbers/Bamidbar 11 of how the people cried: “We remember the foods we used to eat in Mitzrayim, the fish and the “cucumbers” and melons and garlic and leeks. And now, our gullets are shriveled. There is nothing at all!”

One of the things they yearned for was this “cucumber”, the “qishut” or “qishuim” (plural).

What we’re doing with the Jewish Seed Project as modern day Jewish farmers is reaching so far back into our own history to pull these seeds into the present, so we can share them with the future.


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Jewish Seed Project Guiding Values

Created by the organizers of the Jewish Seed Project We recognize that just as we keep the seeds, they too keep us. Seeds grow with us, care for us, and sustain us with nourishment, stories, memories,

Gone to Seed

Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders. –– Henry David T


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