“When you come into the land and plant.” (Leviticus 19:23) God said to the Jewish people, “Even though you will find the land full of all good things, do not say ‘Wewill sit and not plant,’ but rather, you should be sure to plant.” As it says, “Plant allfood-giving trees.” Just as you entered and found trees that others had planted, sotoo should you plant for your children. A person should not say, “I am old and maydie tomorrow; why should I trouble myself for the sake of others?” [Midrash Tanchuma Parshat Kedoshim 8]
This midrash describes a situation of abundance in which we are still required to plant, to work for the future generations so that they, like us, will enjoy the wealth of the earth.
Our society is rich and abundant; however, our culture encourages us to enjoy our present comforts without any care for the future. Our culture stresses the individual's well being. What would we plant for future generations?
We begin to be aware of the price of our careless behavior: air pollution, water pollution, flood and fire are the result of global warming. The midrash asks us to widen our horizons beyond the here and now, beyond our ego centeredness, to become aware of future generations and the legacy we leave them.
If we are honest with ourselves, are we carefully planting for the future? Do we actively strive for a better society, a better world for our children?
To Each His Own Plant
What are our ways to plant? We can plant environmental legislation; we can plant sustainable communities that take responsibility over their environment.
Recently there was an extensive natural gas finds in Israel. The finding of this natural resource has stirred a public debate over royalties. Moreover, the natural gas finds raises ethical questions: who owns nature and its resources? What is the best way to conduct ourselves in the present so that future generations will live in a good and worthy world?
May we all plant sustainability and sustain the world!
Jewcology readers who are in Israel are invited to the following Tu B'Shvat activities initiated by Teva Ivri:
Study group and discussion on the subject of natural resources and natural gas finds royalties on Friday January 21st 2011 in Alma House in Tel-Aviv. This activity is held as part of Alma's Tu B'Shvat street party
Who Owns the Natural Gas Finds?
Kobi Oz and Rabbi Michael Malchior in Alma House 11:00 – 12:00
On the natural gas finds as opportunity to build a better society
Were You Real or Only a Dream? Teva Ivri in Julie M Galerie 14:00 – 15:00
Study group and discussion on Israel's natural gas finds and the future generations
Please contact us for details at firstname.lastname@example.org
Invite your friends!