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Blogs

Earth Etude for 4 Elul

Enfold me, Earth By Carol Reiman Enfold me, earth, Entwine your thick limbs With mine; Lift me up above Your blushing beauty, Opening me to your new day. Show me how to know you As we whisper in each other's ear-- Willow rustle, Sizzling spray upon the sand; How I meant to help, How I hurt you, How we can heal In easy forgiveness, How I can keep you as You keep me--whole. Dance in freedom, Moving together, None to crowd out Both our voices--yours and mine-- Gulls' cry, sudden thunder; Rushing ...

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New Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment Materials Released!

The tenth topic in the Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment, Water: Appreciating a Limited Resource, has just been released! Human beings depend on a sufficient supply of high quality fresh water for their survival. Because of this essential dependence, Jewish sources equate water with life. By recognizing our dependence on water, and ultimately our dependence on G-d, we can strengthen our appreciation and protection of our precious natural resources, and our relationship with the Creator of the world. See all Passing the Test of Water: ...

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Tears and Tisha B’Av

Humidity, thunderstorms, threatening hail- without hummingbirds, lizards and fragrant sage growing wild. I’m in a very different place now, back home, here in the Berkshire foothills, far from my month outside LA teaching and sharing stories. During this week before Tisha B’Av, I’m remembering a conversation with Nimrod (a young, post-army Israeli) about the hard work for men to reclaim our tears. Here’s a poem for those on this journey. The first grown man I saw openly crying was in Jerusalem, on Tisha B’Av, our day of mourning ...

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Pashat Pinchas – How Much Strawberry Shortcake Should I Eat?

This week's Torah portion, Pinchas, contains instructions about how the Israelites are to divide up of the land once they arrive: "The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Divide the land among the tribes, as an inheritance according to the number of the names: with larger groups increase the share, with smaller groups decrease the share. Each is to receive its share according to its enrollment.'" (Num. 26:52-54). The land is to be divided up among the tribes, and it must be done fairly. It matters not only what is done, but how it is done. ...

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Eco-Friendly Dining Out

It is probably easier to be eco-conscious when you cook your own food. You can better control the source and packaging of the food you buy. You can manage waste and energy use and you can recycle. However, there are some things you can do to be eco-friendly when eating out. Consider the source of the food: Try to patronize restaurants that use organic, local, and seasonal products. Consider that much of the food ordered in restaurants is wasted. Think about how much you really will eat before you order. You might also inquire about the kind of ...

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Eliminating Plastic Bags and Water Bottles

  • May 22, 2012
  • Member since 2011

A casualty during Maryland’s Legislative session was the Community Clean Up and Greening Act (HB1247/SB511), commonly known as the “Bag Fee bill.” This bill would have established a five-cent fee for plastic and paper carryout bags with the proceeds split among the retailers, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and the counties. Most proceeds would go to the counties for environmental cleanup, restoration of impaired waterways, and public education. Funds would also be used to distribute free reusable bags to Marylanders, particularly elderly and low income ...

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Shabbat and Environmental Awareness Materials Released – Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment

The fifth topic in the Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment, Shabbat and Environmental Awareness, has just been released! Today we live in a society which is constantly doing without sufficient regard to being, and at the same time, transforming the natural world without taking time to reflect on the long-term consequences. Shabbat as a spiritual practice offers great potential to reduce consumption and thereby benefit the natural world. In addition to our summary article, longer article, source sheet and podcast, we are proud to ...

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New Materials Released for Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment!

The fourth topic in the Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment, Sustainability in the Land of Israel, has just been released! Rabbinic teachings on Yishuv Eretz Yisrael (settling the land of Israel) highlight the common Jewish duty to live sustainably. Our Sages made short-term sacrifices in order to preserve their resources, actions we should emulate to help us find ways for today's reality on the Land. See all Sustainability in the Land of Israel Materials! Share Year of Jewish Learning Materials with your community. ...

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Reduce Workplace Waste

Whether you own your own business or work for someone else, it is a good practice to be mindful of your energy use and use of office supplies during your work day. There are many simple practices that will allow you to use less energy and produce less waste. This pays off by helping the environment and lowering costs as well. Shut down your computer. According to a recent study by the Harvard Green Campus Initiative, computersare responsible for about 40% of the energy consumed by office equipment in the United States. One desktop computer left in full ...

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Hidden Inside Names

I love how Purim teaches that our names carry depth and meaning. Take Esther our queen and star. Her very name in Persian means star. In Hebrew, her name means hidden and sure enough she not only hides her Jewish identity, but like a serious secret agent, also her intentions. Did you remember that she is actually given two names? “He brought up Hadassah, who is also Esther, his uncle’s daughter…” (Megillah Esther, 2:7). The name Hadassah, Hebrew for myrtle, brings to mind the lovely myrtle tree, with smallish star shaped flowers and ...

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Tu B’Shevat Saplings

Dear Friends, Our cliffhanger (see part 1 here ) left us with the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge firmly planted not within Tu B’Shevat, but within the middle of Mi Chamocha our blessing-song for redemption. Mi Chamocha is invoked in every prayer service directly after the Shema. We’ll begin by trying to make sense of this very old word, redemption, and then offer some ideas why Reb Elimelech of Grodzisk (d. 1892) might have placed his wisdom of the two trees there. Ready to wade in the water? As we get our toes wet, let’s first ...

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Jewcology Launches Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment!

This Tu b'Shevat, Jewcology will launch a major new program: a Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment, in partnership with Canfei Nesharim. Between Tu b'Shevat 5772 and Tu b'Shevat 5773, we will roll out our "Core Teachings" series, 18 sets of resources exploring the connection between Jewish texts and our response to today's environmental challenges. Topics range from Trees, Food and Energy to Shabbat, Sustainable Use and Consumerism. For each topic, we will be providing a long article (2000 words), short article (800 words), ...

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Last Day to Order Free Haggadot

Good Chodesh! Today is Rosh Chodesh Shevat; according to Beit Shammai, THIS is the new year of the trees! In any case, we wish you a good and green new month. Tu b'Shevat is in just two weeks, on Tuesday-Wednesday February 7-8! Today is the final deadline for orders of free haggadot this year. You can order up to 25 Haggadot absolutely free by posting your request on our facebook page. Please post the number of haggadot you are requesting, your location, and the community where the materials will be ...

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Great Video – Get Ready for Tree B’Earthday!

The trees are God's great alphabet: With them He writes in shining green Across the world His thoughts serene. ~Leonora Speyer

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Seeds

  • January 10, 2012
  • Member since 2011

(reposted from Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin's blog: http://blog.bjen.org/ dated January 6, 2012) In Genesis 1, on the sixth day, God creates man and woman after having created all the rest of Planet Earth. In a gracious effort to provide some guidance, some instruction to these bewildered, befuddled neophytes on how this novelty of life could possibly work, God says, "Look around. All this grandeur is there for you." 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and ...

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Eco-Friendly Personal Care

Judaism teaches us to be sensitive as to how we treat the Earth and all of Earth’s creatures. When choosing personal care items, keeping this principle in mind can truly make a difference. It also can benefit your health to use natural rather than chemical ingredients whose long-term effects may not be known . Below are some tips for eco-friendly ideas for the purchase and use of personal care items. Many thanks to Jewish Environmental Initiative (JEI) Teen Group member Dena Selig for her contributions to this blog. 1. Make your own beauty ...

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Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment

Core teachings on 18 topics linking Torah and the environment were released between Tu b'Shevat 5772 and Tu b'Shevat 5773 as part of Jewcology's Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment, in partnership with Canfei Nesharim and a host of other organizations who shared materials across the Jewish community. The materials were shared at least 145 times on the web, in at least 99 social media postings, and reached over 51,000 people during the course of the year, as part of a Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment. The materials comprise the most comprehensive set of ...

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There’s Light.

We love this time of year. The opportunity to share special moments with family, lighting candles, eating latkes, and sharing special community celebrations. As we come together to celebrate happy moments, Chanukah is a great time to share Torah learning and to remember to be mindful of our energy actions. Chanukah reminds us that even when things may seem dark, there's light. To share the light this year, Canfei Nesharim's website features the following resources: • The Miracle of the Vessels, a Torah teaching to learn with ...

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Jewish FreeCycle

http://www.jewishfreecycle.com/green-video.html Shalom! Welcome! We are a grassroots nonprofit movement of "generous donors" and "gracious recipients". All Free! You have give, you need receive..... Upcycling, Ecycling, Re-purposing, Regifting and Reusing supporting and strengthening our Jewish Community through "Tzedakah" and "Gemilut Chasadim". Membership is free. "He that gives should never remember, he that receives ...

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Eco-Friendly Travels

Heading out of town for a fall foliage trip, a college homecoming event or to visit family members? While traveling does increase your carbon footprint, there are ways to minimize that impact by choosing wisely in terms of how you travel and where you stay. Keeping these tips in mind, it is possible to be environmentally-conscious as you plan your trip and thus to fulfill the Jewish principle of bal tashchit (reducing waste). Getting There Think about using rail service or express bus to get to your destination. Using public transit is better for the environment ...

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