Tu B’Shevat, Ethical Eating, and Conscientious Objection

It was a full week in Middle School. In three days, we touched THREE topics. How unusual!

We’ve been exploring Jewish decision-making. Soon, our imaginary characters will spring back to life with topics like organ donation, ethical kashrut, and conscientious objection as part of their world. Our three topics came as we concluded one topic and started another, and celebrated Tu B’Shevat*, too.

No matter the topic, the way we worked on understanding the complexity of the ideas remained the same: together. And with a lot of talking, because that’s what middle schoolers LOVE to do.

We moved small pieces to discuss different interpretations of a Tu B’Shevat seder.

We argued about what to serve when food values conflicted, like how far grass-fed kosher beef would have to travel for a synagogue event, and if synagogue events should prioritize traditional or ethical kashrut.

We looked closely at Picasso’s Guernica to see details and imagine the scene.

We stepped inside the painting and told each other stories of what was going on inside of a painted character.

We see and understand so much more when we work together!

*Tu B’Shevat is Jewish Earth Day and the legal birthday of the trees, celebrated on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shevat.

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