The Shemita container has taken its place in the kitchen,
either on the kitchen counter or humbly on the floor
alongside the kitchen garbage receptacle. Enhance and
advertise its noble purpose with the following homemade
Shemita containers and decorations. This should help bring
out your children's interest in the topic of the seventh
year produce and the mitzva of letting the land rest.
For all that grows in the land of Eretz Yisroel in the
seventh year is holy.
You may want to make two of these - one for today's
discarded produce and one for the previous few days.
The different materials and techniques used with the
decorated containers each present the children with a skill
that can be applied to other arts and crafts learning
projects: lacing, cutting, stenciling etc.
ATTACH A SIGN
Write "SEVENTH YEAR PRODUCE" or Hebrew equivalent in
freehand large letters. Use a stencil or washable fabric
paint on cardboard. Waterpoof it with a few coats of clear
acrylic spray or Scotchguard on both sides, or stiff plastic
board. Make a sign large enough to stand out. Attach sweater
guards, a chain (can be made from paper clips), clothespins
or string at both ends to the top two corners of the poster
and place on a cereal box or other empty food container.
The simplest method is to remove the top of a stiff cereal
box or food container, line with a disposable garbage bag.
Attach cardboard sign. When the container is full and the
produce is ready to be discarded, remove the sign and
discard the entire box and its contents. Use the same sign
and chain again on the next cereal box.
LARGE ICE CREAM CONTAINERS
Use your own or collect from the neighborhood ice cream
shop. Cover outside surface with paper cut to size or
decorate with cut and glued-on pictures of fruits and
vegetables from construction paper, cutouts from school
handouts, food advertisements, labels from cans and packages
or drawn by hand. Use like the cereal box and insert plastic
LARGE OLIVE TINS - Alternate Ideas
Use economy or commercial size olive tins or discarded empty
large food tin from your last simcha, grocer, local
caterer or restaurant. Remove top and wash well. Cover with
colorful contact washable stick-on-paper. Draw free hand
with permanent markers all the types of vegetables, fruits
and grains that grow in Eretz Yisroel. Outline each with a
Choose paper cut outs and cover with clear self adhesive
Cover tin with a piece of vinyl or oilcloth tablecloth that
has pictures of fruits and vegetables on it. Buy a small
piece from a roll in hardware and household goods shop or
cut off an end from last year's tablecloth and glue on.
Cover tin with indoor-outdoor washable carpet. Use remnants
from newly carpeted buildings or ask for remnant from a
floor covering shop. Attach a Pach Shemita sign on
the front of the tin can and attach a discarded matching
leather or vinyl belt to the sides of the sign and around
the back of the can. Cut belt to fit around can, remove
buckle, glue halfway up and around can, leaving opening for
sign. Attach sign with glue over end tips of belt. Or use a
piece of matching cord, decorating string or rope.
HOMEMADE LACED CONTAINER
Use stiff plastic, corrugated or plastic rubber sheets
(locally called `sole', found in school crafts or office
supply stores). Cut four equal rectangular (7" x 11") pieces
of this sheeting plus one square (6" x 6") piece for the
bottom of the container. Punch or poke holes along the edges
of all sides and lace together with plastic string or yarn
to form a container. This is also a good lesson in sewing
and lacing for small children. Line with plastic bags.
STORE-BOUGHT PLASTIC GARBAGE CONTAINER
Dress up the wastebasket by stenciling on the words with
lettering stencil. Use with spray paint in two very light
coats applied in short `puffs'. Or use a short, stiff
bristle stencil brush with paint that adheres to plastic,
such as acrylic or other craft type. Use fast drying, water
based paints that dry waterproof. Do a practice trial run on
a sheet of paper to get the right pressure and spray of
paint. With a ruler, mark and space the letters. Make sure
the stencil lies flat. Use masking tape if needed. Remove
tape immediately. Write Pach Shemita or "Produce from
the Seventh Year." Be sure to use a contrasting color or a
color that stands out from the color of the container. Add
stencils or paintings of fruits or vegetables if desired.
[Devora Piha is available for creative art classes for
children to be organized in your neighborhood. Tel. 02-