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A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology intended for use by university students.


Blogs

Earth Etude for Elul 17- Meditation on Elul

by Richard H. Schwartz   Elul is here. It represents a chance for heightened introspection, an opportunity to do teshuva and improve our lives, before the “Days of Awe,” the days of judgment, the “High holidays” of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The shofar is blown every morning (except on Shabbat) in synagogues during the month of Elul to awaken us from slumber, to remind us to consider where we are in our lives and to urge us to make positive changes.   How should we respond to Elul today? How should we respond when we hear reports almost ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 16- The Compost Bin in Our Hearts

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen   My compost bins are so much more than just a place where compost happens. The area beside the three wire and wood bins is place where I often feel my father’s spirit – he was raised on a farm, and though he became a professional, gardening was in his blood, and he spent much of his spare time in his garden and his orchard.   Yet, it is not just the reminders of my father or the sense of his hovering spirit that gives meaning to my compost bins. They are symbolic of so much – which may be more the truer reason that I think ...

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Why Jewcology Matters

It feels good to be back blogging on Jewcology after a 6 month hiatus.  During this period, my wife gave birth to a baby boy and we moved from NYC to Maryland.  Although it has been a very hectic time, as those with children or nieces/nephews know, the birth of a child changes one's perspective on the world.   I have been involved with Jewcology since its inception and think it serves a very important purpose.  I am thrilled that a new group of individuals has become involved, breathing a new sense of energy into the movement, including the launching of the redesigned ...

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Earth Etude 15- Looking at the Whole Picture

By Susie Davidson   As a writaholic, I am also a readaholic. As we move forward in our chosen missions toward creating communities that feed, nurture and sustain (while protecting) all the inhabitants of the earth, I believe that it is also incumbent upon us to remain informed about the news of the day and the topics that affect underlying societal infrastructures.   Certainly, some of these infrastructures seem entrenched to the point of impermeability, none more so than the economic systems that govern world relations and, therefore, virtually every facet of ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 14- Elul’s Comin”

by Judith Felsen   In days of Av anticpatin’ I have done my exploration searching, seeking digging deeper all to clear the space as greeter. From the bottom of my looking I can sense great times are coming soon our King will sure arrive and in fields we both will thrive. Therefore now and always ever will this earth be seen as heaven by all those who now know its glitter shimmering sparks both there and hither. May we join in joyful meeting in all lands we’ve tilled this season. Welcome King, we greet your visit ...

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Earth Etude 13- The Flood

by Rabbi Dorit Edut   The meteorologists predicted a possible heavy rainstorm and suggested bringing an umbrella to work.  But as I drove home from an interfaith conference, I got a call from my husband announcing: “ You’ll have to swim home – everything is flooded here.” My heart stopped beating for a minute when I heard this, realizing that all my rabbinic books and papers, many photograph albums including those from my parents’ lives in pre-Holocaust Europe, all our children’s albums and  memorabilia, my father’s award-winning black and ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 12- Growing Teshuva

by Maxine Lyons I am often looking for ways to connect to teshuvah even during the leisurely days of summer. Teshuvah for me is turning to those thoughts and actions that help me to become my better self, following those practices that nourish my growth to know peace - shalom - and to reach greater wholeness - sh'lemut. As I pursue personal growth, I resonate to the Hebrew word, hitpatchut, growth through an openness and receptivity to change.This summer I have focused on ways to practice with greater compassion in how I spend my time and focus my energy as I take on ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 10- Topsy Turvy Bus

by Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein   The world seems a little topsy turvy these days. A plane missing. 223 girls kidnapped in Nigeria. 3 teen agers kidnapped and murdered in Israel. A plane shot out of the sky. Israel in Gaza. Rockets in Israel. Too many children killed in the streets of Chicago. Too many deaths. When does it stop?   In the Fox River Valley, Illinois, after a punishing winter of epic proportions, it is nice to be outside. Six congregations, part of the nascent Prairie Jewish Coalition, sponsored the Topsy Turvy bus.   What is a ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 9 – A Cry in the Night: My Decision not to Consume Dairy

by Diana G.   A memory: Our newborn is up again. I turn to the clock. It’s 4:25 am. Less than three hours since she last awoke. My husband and I are exhausted, and we lie quietly for a few moments, willing our daughter back to sleep. But her cries are persistent. Who knows if she’s hungry, cold, or simply distressed and looking for comfort?   Regardless, we’ve reached our “give-her-a-moment” limit; there’s only so long one can ignore an infant baby’s cries. My husband grabs for his glasses, makes his way to the nursery, and returns ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 8 – Waves on the Beach

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen I stand on the beach. Waves--      I hear them, see them, rising, falling, splashing, foaming. Deep within me    waves form,   rise up, are released, unite with the ocean waves. Throughout my body   sadness.... grief.... despair.... engulf me. The Earth is suffering. I cannot simply stand, sit, lie, relax. Act, I must, driven by my grief,  by my love, by the waves, in order to live with myself, with the Holy One of Blessing-- who is able to quiet waves, in the sea, in my soul-- who continues ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 7- Rosh Hashanah Shemittah Seder 5775

Created by Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin, to be shared, celebrated, and enjoyed Click here for a downloadable version to print out and use at your Rosh HaShanah dinner.   Ever since the first breath of creation, time has unfolded in cycles of seven. Six days reach their crescendo in the seventh day, Shabbat - the Sabbath, the day of rest. Six years reach their crescendo in the seventh year, Shemittah - the sabbatical, the year of renewal. Seven cycles of seven years reach their crescendo in the Jubilee year, the ultimate enactment of re-creation.   All ...

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Living with Change

Earth Etude for Elul 6 by Rabbi Howard Cohen   The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilisation.  Ralph Waldo Emerson   With the approach of the season of Teshuvah it is once again time to reflect on our relationship with the earth.  In the past I would have asked myself questions such as ‘did I waste natural resources’; or ‘did I pour unreasonable amounts of carbon into the atmospher’; or ‘did I speak out against corporate environmental abuse’.  These questions are important but I believe that there is ...

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Giving Yourself an Autumn Break

by Andrew Oram This time of year always seems a hurricane of activity: coming back from vacation to reams of email, or starting school, or dealing with all the pent-up housework that went blissfully ignored during the easy summer months. Traditionally, Jews see this time of year very differently. Like typical Americans, this period is for them both an ending and a beginning: a recognition of the waning of life and an invigorating harbinger of new possibilities. But in place of the chaotic hurricane that starts for us after Labor Day, many Jews launch a period of ...

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Jewish literary theorist coins ‘cli fi’ genre term for climate change awareness

Danny Bloom grew up in western Masschusetts in the 1950s, studied Jewish ideas under Rabbi Samuel Dresner, was bar-mitvahed in 1962 under the cantorial direction of Cantor Morty Shames and then started travelling. France, Israel, Greece, Italy, Alaska and Japan. Now he's 65 and working on what he calls a very Jewish project, Jewish because it comes out of ideas and values about having a vision and being a dreamer that he picked up on his way to becoming a bald, goateed senior citizen. Bloom lives in Asia now working as a public relations writer and ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 3 – Let it Rest

Earth Etude for Elul 3 - Let It Rest by Carol Reiman Let it rest-- the land that we have worked so hard, the grassy fare for geese now taken by the high tech labs, the water diverted far away to leave the old spot bare, the day diminished by our dense cramming, electronics robbing our eyes of moisture...   Let it rest-- the fish sleep still near the bottom, the standing horse relaxes muscles, the cat stretches and curls...   Let it rest-- the yawn exchanges stale air for fresh, cells grow, the blood flows with its passengers for new destinations, ...

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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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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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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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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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