While sanctuaries are filled with the white robes of Confirmation and the chanting of the story of Ruth, we sometimes forget that Shavuot is also a harvest festival and that Ruth’s story is not just one of choosing Judaism, but one deeply steeped in farming, gleaning and reaping. What better time of year, then, for the Senate and House to mark up the Farm Bill?
The Farm Bill governs America’s food policy for the next five years—from farm subsidies to crop insurance to international food aid to domestic anti-hunger programs. Wait, anti-hunger programs? Why are those included in the Farm Bill? Why is an anti-poverty program included in a huge bill all about farming? If we look at Jewish tradition, however, it makes total sense.