Congregation Agudat Achim

Biblical Garden

In the fall of 2010, an idea was discussed among a small group of members to plan a space for a Biblical Garden that would beautify our synagogue landscape and educate our membership about the plants mentioned in the bible. By 2011, a committee was formed with members who shared a love of gardening. They turned to Schenectady Cooperative Extension for assistance and met with master gardener Reverend Timothy Huggett. A local landscape architect was found to be an invaluable source of information and design ideas. The planned Mediterranean garden needed plants and bulbs that would thrive in our climate zone.

After much physical labor done by the volunteer committee, some professional help was sought. The garden was dedicated in the spring of 2012.  A large boulder with a quote from the Song of Songs marked the beautiful space. Song of Songs 2:12   “the flowers appear on earth. The time for singing is come…” Our beautiful Biblical Garden was brought from idea to reality.

In 2020 Mishka Luft created, donated, and installed a Sh’viti sculpture for our Biblical Garden. The Sh’viti an object designed for gazing upon, composed of the 4 letters of the unpronounceable Divine Name, YHVH, and basically means “I have set the Lord before me always.” In gazing at the Shviti, we allow ourselves to enter into its power and be filled with its illumination.  The name, such as it has a name, comes from the opening line of verse 8 of Psalm 16, “I have set the Lord before me always.”

I am ever mindful of the LORD’s presence

 שִׁוִּ֬יתִי יְהוָ֣ה לְנֶגְדִּ֣י תָמִ֑יד

A garden is always a work in progress. The Biblical Garden Fund helps the garden to thrive and grow.  If you are interested in helping to tend the garden, please contact:

Co-Chairs:
Cathy Winter: cwinter@aol.com
Mishka Luft: mishkaluft@gmail.com

photo credits Josh Cooper-Ginsburg