Clergy and Rabbinical Students Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology intended for use by Clergy and Rabbinical Students.


Blogs

Earth Etudes for Elul – An Introduction and Etude 1

This evening the month of Elul begins, the month that leads us up to the first day of the new year, Rosh HaShanah 5775. The sun rises and sets, again and again, and with each cycle we get a day older, with each cycle the world brings pain and joy, anger and delight, frustration and calm, fear and trust. Soon those days will have added up, and we will be a year older than the last time we ate apples and honey together. We ask: How have I changed? What have I done? What do I wish I had done? What do I hope to do in the future? How has the world changed? How did I...

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Spread over all of us the Sukkah of shalom, salaam, paz, peace!

Can our Sukkot become not only symbols but peacemaking sanctuaries for both "adam" and "adamah"? As we enter the Shmita / Sabbatical Year, we may be asking what its content might be. We can begin, just a few days before Rosh Hashanah, joining the several dozen Jewish organizations that will take part in the People’s Climate March in New York City, Sunday Septembr 21, beginning at 11:30 am. Then on Rosh Hashanah (which can mean “New Year” or “Start of Transformation”), we might celebrate what the tradition sees ...

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Are There Special Foods to Welcome Shmita?

Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin has suggested that for the Erev Rosh Hashanah meal which this year, on Wednesday evening September 24, begins the Shmita Year of Shabbat Shabbaton, we have a seder plate, with seven items (marking the seven-ness of Shmita). What might these seven be? Already nominated: bread (like challah for Shabbat, should this be a “woven” bread? round, for the cycles, as is a traditional Rosh Hashanah challah? how about woven into seven spirals?), an apple, honey, wine, pomegranates. What might the others be, and ...

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Can we see all Earth as our Holy Temple of today?

There are two crises in the world today that call especially for Jewish responses: One because it involves the future of a state that calls itself “Jewish,” and of its supporters in America -- their spiritual, intellectual, ethical, and physical futures – at a moment when the relationship between Jews and our Abrahamic cousins of Palestine is filled with violence that threatens to kill more people, breed more hatred, and poison the bloodstream of Judaism and Jewish culture; The other because it calls on Judaism as –- probably uniquely ...

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Dead Young Men: Mississippi, Israel, Palestine

I spent several days last week in Mississippi, -- Mourning the murders of three young men 50 years ago; Celebrating a Mississippi that today is very different; Facing the truth that Earth and human communities –-- especially, still, those of color and of poverty –- are being deeply wounded by the Carbon Pharaohs’ exploitation and oppression; Talking/ working toward a future of joyful community in which Mother Earth and her human children can live in peace with each other in the embrace of One Breath. ...

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Moving Forward with “Move Our Money/ Protect Our Planet”

More than 100 Rabbis, Cantors, and other Jewish spiritual leaders have signed the Rabbinic Call to Move Our Money/Protect Our Planet. (Providentially, not planned by us, the initials spell “MOM/POP.”).! There are now four initiatives we want to take toward giving additional reality to this Call: 1) Sabbatical/ Shmita Year In Leviticus 25, the Torah calls for the human community to let the Earth rest from organized agriculture every seventh year -- a Sabbatical Year called Shabbat shabbaton or Shmita ("Release" or "Non-attac...

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70+ Rabbinic Call to Move Our Money to Protect Our Planet

Dear chevra, By April 30, 2014, more than 70 Rabbis and other Jewish spiritual leaders have signed this Call. Now we appeal to all members of the Jewish community to join in this effort. To do so, please click to: <https://theshalomcenter.org/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=11&reset=1> We — Rabbis, Cantors, and other Jewish spiritual leaders — call upon Jewish households, congregations, seminaries, communal and denominational bodies, and other institutions: Move Our Money to Protect Our Planet. In the ancient tradition ...

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Earth Day Every Day – Join a Webinar!

Tuesday April 22nd marked the 44th annual Earth Day! What will you do this year to protect our planet? Join the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (the RAC) in commemorating Earth Day with an online information session on how to successfully create a green “culture” in your congregation. How do we make our environmental efforts an integral part of the culture of our congregational communities? How do we align our actions with our Jewish beliefs of environmental stewardship? Our synagogues have the potential to model environmental behavior and ...

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The Seder’s Innermost Secret — Charoset: Earth & Eros in the Passover Celebration

There it sits on the Seder plate: charoset, a delicious paste of chopped nuts, chopped fruits, spices, and wine. So the question would seem obvious: "Why is there charoset on the Seder plate?" That's the most secret Question at the Seder – so secret nobody even asks it. And it’s got the most secret answer: none. The Haggadah explains about matzah, the bread so dry it blocks your insides for a week. The Haggadah explains about the horse-radish so bitter it blows the lid off your lungs and makes breathing so painful you wish ...

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Basics of Advocacy for Jewish Environmentalists

As part of the Year of Jewish Policy Engagement, COEJL, Canfei Nesharim and Jewcology are proud to present: Basics of Advocacy for Jewish Environmentalists: A Citizen Training Webinar To build a more sustainable society, we need more than just individual action: we also need sustainable policies at the local, state and national level. Many Jewish environmentalists want to get involved with advocacy, but aren’t sure exactly where to start. The advocacy world can feel like a confusing maze. When should I call my representative? What kind ...

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Environmental Tip of the Week: Replace one or more store-bought, chemical-filled body-care products with something homemade and natural!

Cross posted in Environmental Tip of the Week This is a great resource to get you started: http://www.jewcology.org/content/view/Do-It-Yourself-Body-Care-for-the-New-Year

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Uplifting People and Planet

Exciting news! Just in time for Tu b’Shevat, Canfei Nesharim and Jewcology are proud to announce the launch of a new ebook exploring traditional Jewish teachings on the environment, Uplifting People and Planet: Eighteen Essential Jewish Lessons on the Environment, edited by Rabbi Yonatan Neril and Evonne Marzouk. This ebook is the most comprehensive study in English of how Jewish traditional sources teach us to protect our natural resources and preserve the environment. From food to trees, energy to water, wealth to biodiversity, the book studies eighteen ...

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A Tu B’Shvat Seder to Heal the Wounded Earth

The New Year – for Rebirthing Trees: [This version of the Haggadah for Tu B’Shvat has been greatly adapted by Rabbi Arthur Waskow of The Shalom Center from a Haggadah shaped by Ellen Bernstein, as published in Trees, Earth, and Torah: A Tu B’Shvat Anthology (Jewish Publ. Soc., 1999, ed. by Elon, Hyman, & Waskow). Bernstein wrote introductory remarks to sections of that Haggadah, many of which have been included or adapted for this one. They are indicated in the text by the initials “EB.” * The desire for such a Haggadah grew from ...

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Environmental Tip of the Week: Apology and this week’s tip: Dumpster Adventures

http://environmentaltip.blogspot.com/2013/12/apology-and-this-weeks-tip-dumpster.html I'm not blogging much lately due to certain matters going on in my life. Sorry, I know this is supposed to be a weekly post but life happens.... Anyway, here's this week's tip. This applies if you live in a place where there's a central dumpster where people dump their garbage: When you take out the garbage, keep your eyes open for things that might not really be garbage but perhaps someone was just trying to get rid of the item without it occurring to them that maybe someone else could ...

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The Sacred Green Menorah: Deeper Meanings of Hanukkah & Earth

On Shabbat Hanukkah (this year, Nov. 29-30), we read an extraordinary passage from the Prophet Zechariah. Speaking during the Babylonian Captivity, he envisions the future Great Menorah, taking its sacred place in a rebuilt Holy Temple. Zechariah, in visionary, prophetic style, goes beyond the Torah’s description of the original Menorah (literally, a Light-bearer). That Menorah was planned as part of the portable Shrine, the Mishkan, in the Wilderness. First Zechariah describes the Menorah of the future that he sees: “All of gold, with a bowl on ...

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Transformative Judaism and our Planetary Crisis

Since human action has endangered the web of life on earth, human action can heal it. And the religious and spiritual communities of our planet have the wisdoms and the tools to do the healing. Judaism is especially relevant because, unlike most world religions, we preserve the teachings of an indigenous people in the biblical tradition –- the spiritual wisdom of shepherds and farmers. And yet as a world people, we can now apply the earthiness of our origins to the Whole Earth. That does not mean simply repeating the ancient practices. For instance, ...

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The Meaning of This Hour: Confronting the Coming Cataclysm of Global Climate Change

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 there, he was a witness to rise of Nazism even while he taught and began to publish his work. In 1938, it was clear to many people that war in Europe was coming. In the very month that ...

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“Keep the Tar Sands where they are; Climate change has gone too far!”

Configure Those words were chanted by more than 200 people in a vigorous protest I took part in on Aug 12, 2013, at the State Department in Washington, DC, against the Tar Sands Pipeline. The action was organized by CREDO Action, the Rain Forest Action Network , and The Other 98%. The Shalom Center and Interfaith Moral Action on Climate (IMAC) endorsed the protest, and our readiness to risk arrest. We ranged in age from 18 to 79 – students, grandparents, clergy, former Obama volunteers, ...

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The Age of Climate Dithering Must Come to an End

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 Nebula award for best science fiction novel and has been nominated for the Hugo award for best science fiction novel of 2013. 2313 mostly takes place off Earth among colonies on ...

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Shmita Today: From Farm to Hypertech

Our society is more and more deeply concerned that intrusive human action toward the Earth is turning into a weapon endangering Humanity itself as well as the earthy web of life. Is this danger new, or is it an extension of a long-felt weakness arising from a strength too far? Torah warns against overworking the earth, as well as overworking ourselves and each other. It provides that not only every seventh day but every seventh year is to be a time to pause from working. The seventh year is to be Shabbat Shabbaton, Restfulness to the exponential power of Restfulne...

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