Originally posted in the newsletter of the Jewish Greening Fellowship What was Queen Esther thinking when her uncle Mordechai told her to speak up to King Achashverosh? Many readers of the Purim story have tried to answer this question with midrash (stories written to fill gaps in Torah texts.) One intriguing story claims that Esther hid for 4 years before the King’s agents found h... read more.
Connect to Something Bigger: Earth, Community, Social Justice, Jewish Spirituality The Urban Adamah Fellowship, based in Berkeley, CA, is a three-month residential training program for young adults (ages 21–31) that combines urban organic farming, social justice training and progressive Jewish learning and living within the setting of an intentional community. ... read more.
In March 1938, Abraham Joshua Heschel delivered a speech to a conference of Quakers in Frankfort (it was later expanded and published in 1943) called The Meaning of this Hour. Heschel had been living in Berlin for some years, acquiring his Ph.D. and a liberal rabbinic ordination (he had already gotten a traditional ordination when he was a teenager in Warsaw). During his years ther... read more.
There are many connections that can be made between vegetarianism and the joyous Jewish festivals of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret (the Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly), and Simchat Torah: 1. Sukkot commemorates the 40 years when the ancient Israelites lived in the wilderness in frail huts and were sustained by manna. According to Isaac Arama (1420-1494),... read more.
There is a new genre fiction called “Climate Change Fiction” that has become increasingly popular. The major theme of these works is what the world will be like after the effects of climate change has taken effect. One of my favorite Science fiction authors, Kim Stanley Robinson, has utilized this theme in several of his books, the latest being, 2312 which won the 2012 ... read more.
by Maxine Lyons Being a passionate gardener, I have been tending several gardens in my yard as well as many flower pots on our large deck so my hands are in dirt quite often these days. I have been transplanting yellow primroses, succulents, day lilies and sunflowers, focusing on the integrity of the roots, noticing how each root system is different. For example, so... read more.
While tsa'ar ba'alei chaim (the mandate not to cause "sorrow to living creatures") is a Torah prohibition, many religious Jews seem to be unaware of it or to not consider it of any great importance. Some examples reinforce this assertion: • Upon reading an article about my efforts to get Jewish teachings on animals onto the Jewish agenda, a member of my modern Ort... read more.
On October 7-10, 2013 The Nathan Cummings Foundation will host leaders in their twenties and thirties to explore strategies to create a U.S. society by the year 2030 where our religious diversity leads us to act collaboratively for a more just, fair and compassionate country. As a Jewcology community, we feel that the more Jewish environmental leaders who apply to this ... read more.
Tisha B'Av (the 9th day of the month of Av) which we commemorate this year on July 15-16, reminds us that over 2,000 years ago Jews failed to heed the warnings of the prophet Jeremiah, with the result that the first Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, the first of many negative things that occurred on that day, including the destruction of the second Temple as well. Today there are many "Jere... read more.
Responding to a Dangerous Impasse on Climate Change Climate change resulting from the use of fossil fuels poses a well-documented, grave threat to humanity and the ecosystems that support life. But in the United States, a real national response to climate change has been stymied by political inaction, cultural inertia, and the concerted effort of fossil fuel companies, w... read more.