New Kids on the Farm
Beit Izim is so excited to announce that our goat moms gave birth to 5 new kids during the week of Passover! 4 boys and 1 girl — all healthy, sweet, and cuddly.
And some of the best news is that you’re invited to visit them during our upcoming Jewish Community Farm Day later this month! (Watch the Boulder Jewish News for dates and times.)
“What makes this a Jewish co-op anyway?”
According to co-op member Rabbi Marc Soloway, it is not simply that most of the members are Jews, but also that we find ourselves revisiting some ancient traditions and laws from the Torah, and seeing if and how some of those principles apply to our co-op. This is complex because the Jews among us are very diverse in our belief and practice, so we try to be sensitive about how we have these conversations.
The Torah explicitly says that the first born of any animal does not belong to us, it belongs to God and therefore we cannot own or benefit from it. These laws are complicated and to avoid a breech of the ancient injunction, the most common tradition is to sell the pregnant mother to a non-Jew. This is what we did with Black Diamond, a week or so before she gave birth, in a ritual called meshicha, where the new owner, Bob, pulled the animal along a little bit as a symbolic act of possession.
Another issue that we confronted was how to deal with the goats during Passover. Last year, we switched to kosher-for-Passover grain, but the goats did not think much of it, and boycotted it. This year, with very pregnant goats, we did not want to risk stopping their grain intake. On the other hand, the Torah strictly forbids the consumption, possession, or deriving benefit from hametz, grain products, during the week of Pesach. A very ancient custom is to sell our hametz to a non-Jew in a contract that expires at the end of the holiday if the full amount has not been exchanged. The leadership of the co-op decided that the best way to deal with this was for each member to appoint Rabbi Goldfeder as their agent, and he then sold all the shares to Bob so that the goats could continue to eat their grain, keeping them strong and healthy.
Interested in Joining the Co-op?
We have some upcoming openings for co-op milking & caretaking shares (one time per week), so if you’re interested, please contact Yael at 303 884-3806 to set up an initial observation visit to see if you’d like to move forward or not. Not to worry if you’ve never milked or cared for a goat before, no experience needed — we partner with and train (on-the-job training) until you’re comfortable.
WOULD YOUR KIDS LIKE TO HELP NAME THE KIDS?
We’ve been thinking about names and will be deciding by the end of this week. Do you have ideas for naming our Passover babies? If so, please place them in the Comments section and we’ll add them to the voting — and announce the winners next week.
Thanks to Rabbi Marc Soloway for his contribution on some of what makes our co-op Jewish, and to Ru Wing & Bonnie Chaim for their photos.