Agriculture: When Christmas Falls on Shabbos

And the sages decreed, When Christmas falls on Shabbos, No bulletin shall be written! But in the hairsplitting tradition of Talmudic scholars, I’ve decided I am at least permitted to send a short holiday greeting.

I was not raised with Christmas, but customs like decorating a tree with memories and hanging greenery throughout the house were bequeathed to me by my late partner, Peter, a Welshman. I maintain these traditions because they appeal to me–and many others like me! Ha’aretz this week reports Israeli Jews are having a love affair with Christmas. I’ve observed Muslim Turks gobbling up these traditions in Istanbul as well.

There are dangers when such things are adopted by novices. Meanings get mangled, symbols mashed up. Witness this tree decorated by two Jewish boys, me and my Christmas house guest, Steve. Small ceramic bagel ornaments have snuck in among the birds and suns and angels, none of them placed with a practiced eye. But my 40 years with Peter must have taught me something. When I told Steve I had finally given ewe number 45 a name, Lale (Turkish for Tulip), as a Christmas gift, he said, “You can say she was reborn on Christmas, just like Jesus!” I was pleased to point out that Christmas was Jesus’s first birth, and that there is an entirely different holiday for His rebirth. Compared to some of my people, at least, I am a Christmas sage!

Nonetheless, today I hope that all of you, whether celebrating the holiday or not, begin soon to sense a rebirth of whatever our life will be going forward. May this be our last holiday contorted by COVID. If you’d like a new post-pandemic name for yourself, like Lale’s, I’ll be happy to suggest one for you.


Daikon Radish, $2/each – large, great for radish salads, kimchee, harvested before the frost

Collard greens $3/bag

EGGS: $5/doz Limited supplies, which will increase as the hours of daylight do

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO WANT LAMB: There’s a backup of bookings at the slaughterhouse, almost impossible to get a slot, so it’s not imminent. I’ll let you know.


Email us your order at, and let us know when you’d like to pick up your order. It will be put out for you on the side screened porch of the farmhouse (110 Lasher Ave., Germantown) in a bag. You can leave cash or a check in the now famous pineapple on the porch table. Because I’m now here full time, we’re abandoning regular pick-up times. Let us know when you want your order any day between 10 and 5, and unless there are unusual circumstances we’ll be able to ready it to your convenience. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call or text at 917-544-6464 or email.


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