Over 30 adults, a handful of children, and a few pets turned out for Nashville's First (in-person) Earth Seder, an outdoor, Earth-conscious second seder on Shabbat afternoon. Rabbi Jessica Shimberg, assisted ably by her hubbitzen, sous-chef, and holy schlepper, Eric Stillman, welcomed guests with traditional seder foods and vegan snacks to fortify their journey through the ecologically focused Haggadah, The Promise of the Land, written by long-time eco-Jewish author, Rabbi Ellen Bernstein, and beautifully illustrated by Galia Goodman. Those drawn to the Earth Seder included a cross-section of ages and backgrounds, and a variety of newcomers and long-time Nashvillians.
The seder table was decorated with upcycled materials evoking the cycles of Jewish time, as well as plants and seed packets, in addition to traditional seder items. Participants were asked to bring their own cutlery, plates, napkins, cups, and water bottles, to avoid the use of plastics and disposable items. A vegan meal from The Wild Cow was served, and all food scraps were collected and brought home for composting (Rabbi Shimberg composts through Compost Nashville).
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