High Holidays Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on high holidays.


Blogs

The Urban Adamah Fellowship Now Accepting 2014 Applications

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. Through the operation of Urban Adamah’s one-acre organic farm and internships with social justice organizations, fellows gain significant skills, training and experience in all aspects of ...

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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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Life is like a Silverware Box? A Wish for the New Year

In the month after my mother died, I suddenly looked around at my house and saw certain things that were just unacceptable to me. Things that I felt my mother was being polite about. She rarely judged things in my house; she had come to the conclusion that I had to learn to live my own life. But after she was gone, I found I could no longer live with certain things. I suddenly found my silverware box unbearable. It was the blue felt piece that it came in originally, the one that basically wrapped the silverware in a blue snuggy, with slots for the ...

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Yom Kippur and Vegetarianism

There are many connections that can be made between the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur and vegetarianism: 1. On Yom Kippur, Jews pray to the "Living God", the "King Who delights in life," that they should be remembered for life, and inscribed in the "Book of Life" for the New Year. Yet, typical animal-based diets have been linked to heart disease, stroke, several types of cancer, and other chronic degenerative diseases, that shorten the lives of over a million Americans annually. 2. On Yom Kippur, Jews pray to a "compassionate ...

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Why Perform a Rite That Kills Chickens as a Way to Seek God’s Compassion?

During the ten-day period starting on Rosh Hashanah and ending on Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day, Jews seek God's compassion and ask for forgiveness for transgressions during the previous year so that they will have a happy, healthy, peaceful year. Yet, many Jews perform the rite of kapparot (in Ashkenazic Hebrew kappores or in Yiddish, shluggen kappores) in the days before Yom Kippur, a ritual that involves the killing of chickens. Kapparot is a custom in which the sins of a person are symbolically transferred to a fowl. First, selections from Isaiah 11:9, Psalms ...

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Support the Year of Engagement

Exciting news! Canfei Nesharim is teaming up with the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) through our Jewcology project, on a new joint fundraising campaign. Together, we aim to raise a total of $10,000 by the end of Tishrei, October 3. MAKE AN ELUL DONATION TO SUPPORT JEWCOLOGY NOW! With your support, in 2014 Jewcology and COEJL will partner on a "Year of Jewish Policy Engagement on the Environment," which will provide tools to help Jewish environmental activists and local leaders become more involved in environmental action at ...

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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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Rosh Hashanah and Vegetarianism

Rosh Hashanah is the time when Jews take stock of their lives and consider new beginnings. Perhaps the most significant and meaningful change that Jews should consider this year is a shift away from diets that have been having devastating effects on human health and the health of our increasingly imperiled planet. While many Jews seem to feel that the holiday's celebration can be enhanced by the consumption of chopped liver, gefilte fish, chicken soup, and roast chicken, there are many inconsistencies between the values of Rosh Hashanah and the realities of animal...

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Earth Etude for Elul 6 – Today the World is Born

by Rabbi David Seidenberg On Rosh Hashanah we hear the shofar and call out, "Hayom Harat Olam"! "Today is the birthday of the world; today the world is born." So says the liturgy according to most readings. And this birthday is not just one of celebration: "Today the world stands in judgment." These two motifs alone should give us pause today to consider what we are doing to the planet, to how we can restore the balance of the atmosphere, the balance of the waters and the air, of the forests and ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 5 – Journey to a Mountain Pond

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen The word makom in Hebrew means place, or space, but it has also come to be a name of G!d. Some places take on more significance in our lives than others. They touch us more deeply, or are associated with significant memories. For me, one of these is a place I have come close to, but have not yet seen with my own eyes. Yet just through proximity, it has touched me deeply, shifting something in my soul. The name of the place is Gamawakoosh, but you cannot find it on a map. ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 4 – Rainbows

by Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein “Red and yellow and pink and blue, purple and orange and green. I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow tune.” There are many songs about rainbows. This is one that I learned at Girl Scout Camp many years ago. Since that summer rainbows have had a special place in my heart. Learning the story of Noah in a parshat hashavua class in college was one of those moments. In order for there to be a rainbow, there has to be a perfect balance between sun and rain. Without ...

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Earth Etude for 3 Elul – Paying Attention to Roots

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, some plants require a full root for transplanting while others need a partial root to survive. Succulents do not need roots at all; pieces can be immersed in dirt and re-establish their roots in ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 2 – Elul Writing Project

by Molly Bajgot We’re nearing a time when the Earth will not provide as bountifully as it has in the past. In exchange for a loss of resources, I believe the Earth is pleading for us humans to return to ourselves, our deep souls, so we recognize a bounty that lives within us. Could this lead to the feeling of fertility in the human spirit, we may extend the times of plenty. Answering this call is not easy. We cannot stop deadlines so we may each have the time return to ourselves as a form of resiliency. It’s a necessary evil to take this time. We may ...

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Earth Etudes for Elul Are Coming

This evening we enter into the last day of the Jewish month of Av. Tomorrow evening we begin the journey through the month of Elul, leading up to Rosh HaShanah and the Days of Awe. Tomorrow evening we begin the process of spiritual preparation, and on Tuesday morning for the first time we hear the sound of the shofar, reminding us of the call to teshuvah, to return - return to the Holy One of Blessing, the Merciful One. To help us along our journey, we at Ma'yan Tikvah will once again be posting Earth Etudes for Elul most evenings during the month. These ...

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