WHAT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF JEWS TO SAVE OUR PLANET?
Thousands of years ago our ancestors lived with a keen awareness of their dependence on the natural systems that support life. Through their daily interactions with soil, water, and air, they developed a great respect for the Earth and sensed the presence of the Divine within all of Creation. Although many Jews today have lost this connection, our ancient relationship with nature is nevertheless reflected in Jewish law, in our prayers, in the celebration of our holidays, and in the core values of our tradition.
[Our generation needs] to renew the ecological wisdom inherent in Judaism. By immersing participants in the natural world and providing structured activities which sensitize them to nature's rhythms, we help them develop a more meaningful relationship with nature and their own Jewish practices. This process also facilitates personal growth, community building, and a genuine commitment to tikkun olam, healing the world.
Adapted from the Teva Learning Alliance
Jews have always been in the forefront of social issues. Today our planet is in serious danger, with the depletion of non-renewable resources, the threat of serious climate change, reduction of biodiversity, air and water pollution, contamination of our food supply, and a host of other environmental crises.
The Jewish heritage has a great deal to teach about the preservation and care of the planet, God’s gift to all of us. Drawing upon the wisdom of biblical, Talmudic, midrashic and other texts, as well as modern, reliable, scientific research, Rabbi Elkins lists scores of specific actions that we can perform to slow, and hopefully reverse, the deterioration of our environmental well-being. While there are other books on the subject of Judaism and the environment, SIMPLE ACTIONS FOR JEWS TO HELP GREEN THE PLANET (Growth Associates / October 2011/ Softcover/ $17.99) is the only one that deals directly with specific actions and behaviors that Jews (and people of all faiths and backgrounds) can perform to become active in helping to green the planet.
SIMPLE ACTIONS FOR JEWS TO HELP GREEN THE PLANET
Jews, Judaism and the Environment
By Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins
To Purchase a copy:
Growth Associates Publishers and Booksellers. (Princeton, NJ); www.JewishGrowth.org; Toll free: 866-368-8672
Softcover / $17.99 / 236 Pages / October 2011 / ISBN 13-978-1463777654
Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins is a nationally known lecturer, educator, workshop leader, author, and book critic, he has written widely for the Jewish and general press. He has spoken on radio and television programs, and has been interviewed in cities all over the world for national and international media. He is a popular speaker on the Jewish circuit.
Dr. Elkins is a recipient of the National Jewish Book Award, and is the author of over thirty-five books, including a two-volume collection of inspirational readings on the High Holidays, RoshHashanah Readings: Inspiration, Information and Contemplation and Yom Kippur Readings (Jewish Lights Publishing). HisChicken Soup For The Jewish Soul, co-edited with Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Health Communications, September, 2001) was on the NY Times best-seller list. His most recent book is Jewish Stories from Heaven and Earth: Inspiring Tales to Nourish the Heart and Soul (Jewish Lights, 2008).