Updated: May 17
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.