Earth Wisdom
Plants, Stones, and Seasons

Water Wisdom
Moons and Tides

Air Wisdom
Animals and Spirit Beings

Fire Wisdom
Sabbath and Sacred Space


"One generation goes and another comes, but the earth remains the same forever."
—Ecclesiastes 1

"The breath of life was enclosed in the earth, which became pregnant with it."
—I Zohar 49a

earth photoEarth is adamah, the fertile red loam, and also afar, the scattered dust, and also aretz, the beloved land. The Divine took dust from the earth, afar min ha'adamah, to make the body of the human being, and from the earth the Divine caused all fruitful trees to grow, as well as the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. The earth is that which remains solid and steady, for it says: "You set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be shaken." All things get their food from the earth, as it says: "you grow grass for the beasts, and you make plants for humans to harvest, that they may get bread from the earth." Into the earth we go when we die, as the Divine says to Adam: "Your return will be to the ground (adamah) from which you are taken, for dust (afar) you are, and to dust you shall return." So too Job says: "Naked came I from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there." Earth is assiyah, the world of the body and of the real. Its color is black like rich soil. It is the world of doing, of planting seeds and reaping fruit. It is the world of the angel Raphael, of tending and healing. It is the world of the matriarch Rachel, who is the root of her people. And it is the world of the Divine presence, the Shekhinah: the one who fills the earth and all who dwell there.

Jewish texts dwell on the fruit, trees and grasses of the earth. Stones of the earth become pillows for Jacob's head, adornments for the high priest, and symbols for the twelve tribes. And the Jewish year uses the seasons of the earth as a sacred compass, giving each season a different festival and a different truth. This section is filled with thoughts on plants, stones and seasons, the calendar, the body, healing, and other earth-wisdom.

Jill Hammer


Back To Top