Gratitude means noticing/Eating a piece of parsley by Leah Koenig
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Why is eating a vegetable one of the steps to freedom? Because gratitude is liberating. And how do we get there? We focus on the details. Close your eyes: You are holding a piece of parsley, which you are about to dip into salt water. But before that- what things needed to happen to get this parsley into our hands? Who placed the parsley seeds into the ground? What sort of conditions did it grow in? Was it a hot summer? What did the soil feel like? How was the parsley harvested? What did it look like at that perfect moment when it was mature and ready to be picked? Who picked it? Where did the parsley travel next? Was it packed into cardboard boxes? How did it travel to the store or the farmer's market? Who unloaded and unpacked it? Who placed it on a scale and weighed it so it could be purchased? Think for a moment about the number of hands that played a part in getting the parsley to this table and into our hands. Now open your eyes: Look a little more closely at the parsley in your hand- what does it look like? How many leaves does it have? What does that specific color green remind you of? What does the stem feel like? Imagine what it tastes like... Take a piece of parsley and dip it in salt water. Then we say the blessing together, and then we eat. Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, creator of fruit from the earth. -Leah Koenig
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Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. How does your experience of eating change when you know what has gone into the preparation of the food?

2. How does Jewish tradition encourage or discourage emphasis on the human role of food production?

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Time Period: Contemporary (The Yom Kippur War until the present-day)