I Need A Break!

Miriam Midlarsky Lichtenfeld

About Miriam Midlarsky Lichtenfeld

Rabbi Miriam is an educator who is passionate about connecting Judaism and the environment through text study, outdoor education and activism with Jews of all ages. In Rockland County, NY, where she lives, she tries to spend as much time outside as possible — gardening, hiking and walking with her dog, husband and 3 kids.

About I Need A Break!

I have long been enamored with the idea of Sabbatical as a release from the usual daily routine. Both of my parents are professors, and they treasured each sabbatical as an opportunity to recharge, research and renew themselves for the demands of academia. Ever since I learned of Shmita, I have been attracted to the wisdom of allowing the land to rest along with providing a rest for humans. Further, I love that it serves as a reminder that the land truly belongs to God and we are merely its stewards.In my poem, I focused on the fact that I, along with the rest of humanity and mother earth need a break from the unrelenting expectation that we will be constantly productive. The first 3 stanzas reflect the building pressure and stress I often experience in my life, while the final stanza expresses the release I experience when finally able to rest. My hope for all of us is that we can achieve a feeling of release for ourselves and the earth this Shmita year.