On Wednesday. The 19th October , on Chol Hamoed of Sukkot, the Carlebach Moshav in Meor (Mevo) Modi’im will host its 18th bi-annual Moshav Country Fair. The Moshav is celebrating its 40th Birthday.

This gave me cause  to ponder the role and nature of Moshavim in Israel. Moshavim were created to help people co-operate and work together to farm the Land throughout Israel. They are similar to kibbutzim, but have private land ownership. Life in the beginning was particularly hard for these Moshavim – and Meor Modiim has had  it fair share of struggles. Unlike, other Moshavim, they had an even more important mission. Moshav Meor Modiim was established in 1976 and has been involved in Jewish education and sustainable, natural living from its inception. Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach z” l was the spiritual leader of the Moshav and his teachings, music and spirit set the tone for all its educational initiatives. For nearly forty years, Mevo Modiim has been a magnet for tens of thousands of guests on Shabbat and holidays, major music festivals and country fairs. The Moshav is populated by a unique and diverse group of talented artists, musicians, writers, film makers, healers and teachers.The members of the Moshav have reached out to Jews of all backgrounds to inspire them to see the beauty and joy in Judaism.

Everybody knows that the mitzvah of the 4 species (Arba HaMinim) is one of unity. Rabbi David Milston in his book KI Va Moed writes that “Unity is a recurring theme in Jewish thought. If we see ourselves as one entity. If we can successfully bind together the different members of our nations represented by the Etrog, Lulav, Hadas and Arava- the Almighty will relate to us in that manner too.”

Quoting Reb Shlomo Carlebach –  On Sukkot there is no hatred, theirs is so much Achdut — You know what we do in the Sukkah, we take the four species and I’m sure I’m not telling you anything new.

The ETROG representing the Heart looks like a lemon, but it’s so beautiful –it’s a real beautiful Jew, the one who learns so much, the one who does so much.

The LULAV –ah, it’s the Jew who has the strongest spine in the world, the one who’s learning –these are our young people, the ones our future –strong like lions. And the leaves of the lulav are together.

Then comes the HADASSAH (myrtle), looks so beautiful, looks like eyes that is, the shape of the leaves is like the stylized shape of the eyes and representing the Jew combines Torah and good deed.

The ARAVA –a little bit sad. The Arava represents those Jews who are not connected to their Judaism. But the Arava is needed to complete the four species.

Rabbi Milston continues and writes ‘Every single Jew is precious and a valuable necessity to Am Yisrael as a whole. The majority of Jews remain ignorant of the past, negligent of their present and wary of their future. However, for the religious community to simply ignore their brethren while continuing to embrace a full and rich Torah life is a fundamentally flawed ethos”

The hallmark of the Moshav over the last 40 years has been to reach out and inspire Jews irrespective of their background. We invite you come to the Moshav Fair to taste the Achdut of Am Yisrael as well visit the recently opened Carlebach Centre on Moshav Mevo Modi’im where programs are available for groups, schools, touring groups with the aim is to develop a stronger Jewish and Israeli identity.

The Fair is on Wednesday  19th October from 12pm to 9pm. The Fair is organised by Leah Sand and is one for more popular activities for Chol Homoed, catering to families, kids and young adults and old timers who want to have a place to hang out – listen to great music, have a picnic, etc. There are activities for kids, a women’s tent with teachings & workshops, workshops on the environment and beautiful arts & crafts booths.img-20161009-wa0000