April 11, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
April 11, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Every spring I gather seeds, plants and some manure-infused soil before tilling my yard as I prepare for the numerous flowers and vegetables I sow into our garden areas. Some plants, like our tomatoes, sunflowers and wildflowers flourish and bring great joy to our family and neighbors. The bees, our summer pets, join the spring frolic between the flowers as the warmer weather beckons us out of doors in the longer days of sunlight. We, the bees and my family, symbiotically support each other into the summer months.

As with most areas of life, there are short- and long-term decisions to be made. Bulbs planted years ago are the first harbingers of spring in our garden. When they poke through the soil, I reflect on what our needs may be for the new season. Zucchini and cucumbers have not grown well locally, despite years of trying, so I researched optimum plants to replace the cucurbits in the garden. White asparagus appeared to be a winner in terms of heartiness in our area. Many of us like to eat asparagus and it is expensive to purchase, so growing our own would be financially beneficial. As a bonus, they are far superior to their green counterparts in terms of kashrut. However, there is a huge downside since the harvesting of asparagus takes years. Four to five to be exact.

Somehow this long-term commitment to this plant pushes back on my soul. After moving back to the US after aliyah, I was committed to never buying a house here because I wanted to remain a temporary resident and not become a permanent dweller. Due to mostly practical reasons, including having difficulty finding a place to rent for our growing family, we caved and bought a house. Seventeen years later we maintain our house as a necessity. However, I still hold on to our hope that it is short-lived; we do not invest in expanding or extensive detailing.

Yet, these small white spears I consider growing have resurfaced the desire for this galut life to be marked definitively as temporary, anticipating a short wait until our personal galut will end. I am shocked at the pain I feel surrounding their theoretical growth. I didn’t mind planting tulips despite the long-term implications because they would be there for humans and bees to enjoy for years to come. But the asparagus conundrum represents something long-term that is personal. Can a galut Jew, longing for home daily, daven for Moshiach and await the geulah to bring her home, yet also plant asparagus in chutz l’aretz knowing it will be four years at least until the crop yields produce? Somehow planting asparagus for my five-years-from-now future self, with harvesting up to 20 years from now, feels like a lack of emunah in the geulah, as well as a level of permanence I cannot bear.

Half of the Jewish people have rejoined our nation in our homeland. As much as my heart desires the move, especially now, there are numerous personal and private reasons preventing our family from fulfilling our dreams. So I pleadingly, hopefully and expectantly await my miracles and Moshiach to bring my family home. In the meantime, the asparagus seeds innocently await my spiritual and emotional decision.


Rochie Sommer is a mom and educator who believes that every person is inherently curious about the amazing world that Hashem gave us. She knows that children can successfully engage in the learning opportunities offered to them when the focus is on acquiring the next skill necessary to achieve their goals. She is the head of curriculum development and head of the math department at Yeshiva Ketana of Passaic.

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles