Bloomah’s in Mishpacha: What My Rabbi Said

Today, October 14, is an exciting day for me and my mission: a 6-page feature article about Bloomah’s City Farm came out in Mispacha’s Jr Magazine!

I am excited and nervous – especially about the cover, because I never expected that they would feature a photo of my son there.

My No Photo Policy

I don’t post photos of my children on this blog or social media – or anywhere. I don’t even post photos of myself.

Though everyone who knows anything about marketing will tell you that this hampers my impact, I have no intention of changing this policy. It just feels right for me. (No judgements on anyone else’s choices.)

So when Mishpacha sent me the cover for review 2 weeks ago, I got a huge shock to see a giant portrait of my 5-year-old son there, holding one of our chicks.

My first thought: there is no way I will agree to having this photo on a magazine cover. It’s too much!

Mishpacha was on a tight deadline, so I needed to give my answer immediately. I decided to call up a Rabbi who we often consult with. Since he is Chassidish, I was certain he would agree with me and I would have the perfect excuse to say “No” to Mishpacha.

What the Rabbi Actually Said

“I am usually against publishing any children’s photos but in this case I would put my own children on the cover of that magazine!”

Why?

“There is such a need for people to read this article! If having your son’s photo there will entice more people to read it, then I think you should do it.”

Why is the article that important?

“So many frum Jews crave a closer connection to nature. What I see is that if they’re from a more open background, then they feel they have to stray from their communities in order to get it. If they’re from a more insular background, they tell themselves ‘this is not for someone like me. There’s no way I can do this.’ That’s also unhealthy.”

“This article shows that a person can integrate farming, nature, animals and ecological values into a mainstream Torah lifestyle.”

But what about… you know?

“If your intention is purely to help people and open them up to a healthier view, Hashem will protect you from Ayin Hara.”

After I hung up with our Rav, I emailed Mishpacha immediately.

Let’s do this!

Why this Article Excites Me

I love how the writer interviewed each of my kids and got great quotes about their experience of being a “farm kid.”

They also gave me scope to share some ideas that are really different than anything the typical Mishpacha reader has heard before. For example:

“Most people wouldn’t consider our garden ideal,” Naomi says. “People want a manicured lawn with pretty flowers. To me, that’s a dead garden. A garden should be full of life! You want to see bugs flying. Then birds, reptiles, and hedgehogs move in. That’s a successful garden. You’re part of the cycle, cooperating with the forces of nature. That’s how it’s supposed to be.”

Haha. Did I really just say that in front of tens of thousands of middle-class New York Jews?

Thank you to Mishpacha for giving me a platform to spread these ideas.

Bloomahs City Farm logo square

My name is Naomi and this is my tiny little farm in the heart of the rapidly growing city of Beit Shemesh, Israel. I enjoy growing, making and processing as much of my families own food and household essentials as possible, while nurturing a biodiverse ecosystem filled with beauty and life. 

Learn More About Bloomah's

2 Comments

  1. Malka Winner on October 15, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    I loved reading about the behind-the-scenes thought that went into this, and I hope the article inspires lots of people!

    • Bloomah on October 15, 2020 at 11:37 pm

      Thank you Malka, for initiating this article, writing it and taking care of us every step of the way!

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