דלג לתוכן העמוד
יום חמישי, 21 במרץ 2019
אשר שימוש בשירותי מיקום להצגת מזג האוויר

Do a Mitzvah - Drink Wine

The Carma Winery in Moshav Tirosh presents a new model of a boutique winery: It is based on Jews from abroad who wish to fulfill the 35 agricultural mitzvot that are applicable only in the Land of Israel. The winery will present its wines at the Mateh Yehuda wine festival

November 21, 2018 14:02

The Mateh Yehuda's wine industry is continuing to expand. After wineries were established throughout the Mateh Yehuda on land above 700 meters (Tzuba, Shoresh and Neve Ilan), in the Judean central plain (Tzora, Clos de Gat, Kedma, Navot) and the Judean southern plain (Givat Yeshayahu, Agur), the time arrived for the Judean western plain to contribute its part. Here, in the agricultural village of Tirosh which is known for its many agricultural crops, the Carma Winery cultivated its own vineyards and created a new and interesting business model.

Every winery has its own story and the Carma Winery is no different. The story of the Winery begins with the father of the founder, Rav Avraham Raviv, who served for many years as a regional rabbi in the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council as the rabbi of five villages: Gefen, Tirosh, Sadot Micha, Zanoach, and Machsia. Rav Raviv has seven children, one of whom is Rabbi Yinon Raviv. He left Israel in 2005 to serve as the assistant to the Chief Rabbi of Panama. During his stay in Panama he became familiar with the Jewish community’s love for Israel and their desire to take part, even from afar, in the fulfillment of the Land of Israel’s agricultural mitzvot.

Upon his return to Israel in 2009, Rabbi Yinon Raviv sought to give a concrete, daily expression to this yearning. He developed a model that combines agriculture, business, observance and supporting a rabbinical institution.

The Carma Winery vineyards .A connection to the Land of Israel

Birkat Ha'aretz

Thus was born the Birkat haAretz association, which leases agricultural lands in the Tirosh and Gefen agricultural villages. In their soil, the association plants the seven species for which the Land of Israel was blessed: vineyards, olive trees, dates, pomegranates, figs, fields of wheat and barley, as well as an etrog orchard.

The funding for leasing the land and the agricultural work is obtained from members of the association. Each member purchases a unit of 250 square meters that includes all the components of the seven species and undertakes to pay an annual fee of $1000.

Rav Yinon's younger sister, Aviva, who serves as the Winery’s public relations manager, explains that the association produces products from every crop that it grows: wine from the vineyards, olive oil from olives, dates from palm trees, jam from figs, matzot from wheat and barley, bottles with an etrog fragrance extract and pomegranates for eating.

The members of the association enjoy an annual supply of agricultural products: wine and matzot for Pesach, beautiful etrogim for Sukkot, olive oil at the end of the olive harvest season, and pomegranates and dates during the season of their harvest. More than the delicious products which they get to eat, they enjoy their personal involvement in cultivating the land and fulfilling the agricultural mitzvot.

Rabbi Yinon Raviv

A connection to the Land of Israel

"In the Torah we find dozens of mitzvot that can only be fulfilled by one who owns land in the Land of Israel," Rav Yinon explains. "The members of the association buy actual land in the Land of Israel, raise all seven species, observe all the agricultural mitzvot, benefit from their investment and enjoy the land’s excellent produce."

Jewish law includes 35 kinds of agricultural mitzvot, including mitzvot related to sowing the seeds in the soil, planning an agricultural area in general and vineyards in particular, leaving part of the agricultural produce for the poor, donating maaser (a tenth) of one’s agricultural crop, keeping the Sabbatical and Jubilee years, and more. The scholars who are learning in Agudat haAretz’s kolel focus particularly on these agricultural mitzvot and, in effect, are preparing themselves as rabbis for the agricultural sector in Israel who wish to act in accordance with Jewish law.

After they are offset by the expenses in running the association, the profits derived from the agricultural crops are invested in leasing additional areas and recruiting new members to the association. At the same time, they are also funding a kollel in which the scholars specialize in the subject of agricultural laws.

Scholars training to be rabbis in the agricultural sector. The kolel students in a tour of the Birkat HaAretz grounds.

Estate Winery

It was decided to establish the Carma Winery to prepare wine for the members of the Birkat haAretz association. The Winery was established in 2012 as a boutique estate winery, which includes all the components to make wine: a winemaker, a vineyard, and a production facility that maintains high standards of quality starting from the stage of growing the grapes, thinning the clusters and producing a quality crop that emphasizes the unique terroir of the Winery.

The Winery is located on the edge of the Tirosh agricultural village next to the green hills of the Judean plain. The building includes the barrel room, a lavish visitors' center, an attractive entrance lobby, and an adjoining orchard with fruit trees from the seven species.

The Winery's founders are seven families from Panama and the U.S., who visit it and celebrate various events in it, but all the Winery's revenues are dedicated to supporting the kollel founded and headed by Rabbi Raviv.

The Winery today produces three types of red wines under the direction of winemaker Raphael Menashe and assistant winemaker Nir Shaham, and yields about 8,000 bottles. Nevel -  (100%) Merlot, Sarig - a blend of Cabernet (60%) and Merlot (40%), and Zemora (100%) Cabernet Sauvignon. The three wines will be exhibited at the festival.

Recently, the Birkat HaAretz association launched a new initiative: a farm called "My Tree Farm in the Land of Israel." The farm permits the purchase of a private grape tree on the name of the purchaser, and gives the purchaser a sales certificate and a sign attached to the tree with his name. He or his representative can plant the tree. The purchaser will be able to observe the tree as it grows and receive its crop at harvest time. In this way, the purchaser can enjoy fruits from his own tree, and get the mitzvah of planting a tree in the Land of Israel and all the mitzvot related to its cultivation.

Rabbi Yinon does not rest on his laurels. He is energetically continuing to recruit Jews from around the world to the Birkat HaAretz association. He is currently in Brazil for this purpose.

 

              

 

 

Photos: Rami Cohen

 

 

 

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