Plan(T)ning For the Future
About DIANE REICH
Diane Reich is an artist, educator, inspirational speaker, and passionate advocate for increased creative education about our Jewish heritage via her informative, entertaining, and interactive art presentations. Her goal is to use her paintbrush dipped in color to share uplifting facts and incredible stories about Judaism, Torah, and Israel that will inspire and develop greater pride and understanding of our Jewish history, culture, and homeland. Diane feels incredibly fortunate to have been accepted as a public speaker in both the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) Speakers Bureaus and her art presentations have been well received. She looks forward to speaking about her painting “Plan(T)ning For the Future” and enlightening audiences about shmita, sustainability, and growth at future art talks and exhibitions.
About Plan(T)ning For the Future
Shmita, a biblical commandment emphasizing rest and rejuvenation, is a time for reassessment, rebirth, renewal, and hope both spiritually and physically. My 8″x8″ acrylic on canvas painting entitled, “Plann(T)ing for the Future” depicts a farmer planting and planning for a better tomorrow. If a person tills the soil and plants, hopefully they will realize actualization, watch crops grow, bear fruit, and provide sustenance for humans and other living creatures. Shmita is part of that growth process which promotes a sabbatical every seven years when the farm owner shares his earth’s bounty with others who may be less fortunate and provides enhanced forgiveness. The Hebrew word for land, ארץ, can be separated into א and רץ. The א refers to “one” or “one G-d” and רץ is defined as “to run.” רץ, meaning to run or journey, refers to the godly journey of striving. If a person does not strive for betterment for themselves and others, they are less likely to grow well and thrive. People who take time to nurture themselves through Torah, study, and reflection, generally develop and mature in a healthier and more meaningful way. A human’s shmita or personal plowing, will help bear fruit of self-actualization and improvement. Israel is 60% desert and the remainder mostly arid land; therefore, farmers have long focused on agricultural efficacy. The farmer/water engineer in my painting represents Simcha Blass in 1930 as he began experimenting with drip irrigation to improve crop growth on farms in the Jordan Valley. It took thirty years of work, persistence, and shmita to accomplish the goal. Ultimately, he and his son developed the world’s first successful surface drip irrigation system helping feed people in Israel and, as is the essence of shmita, sharing their technology to help expand the world’s food supply and eradicate hunger worldwide.