When Pesach & Earth Day Coincide
On Monday night exactly one week before the first Pesach Seder, The Shalom Center sponsored an Interfaith Seder for the Earth. It was held at Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia, the first independent Black church in American history. The weave of blessings, poetic texts from several religious and secular-ethical traditions, bursts of song, excellent vegetarian food, and activist letter-writing to several crucial Federal and state officials about fracking and the climate crisis was very powerful, and joyful rather than a “downer.”
Earth Day is April 22, the fourth day of Pesach. Thursday evening April 21 or Friday evening April 22 would be perfect times to use the Seder for the Earth. A downloadable, easily printable copy with an extraordinary full-color graphic cover is available on our website here:
Other essays on the connections between Passover and the healing of the Earth are on our Home Page at http://www.theshalomcenter.org
In our new book, Freedom Journeys: The Tale of Exodus and Wilderness Across Millennia, Rabbi Phyllis Berman and I explore the connection of the plagues Pharaoh brought upon the land with the ecological disasters of our own generation. We point toward the need not only for overcoming the "pharaohs" of our day (e.g. Big Coal, Big Oil, and their governmental allies) but for shaping a new planetary community. The book might be helpful in your own planning for Passover/Earth Day. It is available here:
Blessings on your efforts toward a world of fuller freedom ––
Shalom, salaam, shantih – peace!
Rabbi Arthur Waskow