Jewish Energy Guide – Sukkot: Dwelling in the Midst of Nature’s Energy

Summary: Rabbi Howard Cohen, founder of Burning Bush Adventures, discusses the connections between Sukkot and nature.

Biblical Judaism — that is, the way of life for the Israelites — was shaped and molded by their direct experience with the landscape around them. The physical geography, communities of plants and animals, soil condition and weather all left indelible impressions on their way of life, and our understanding of Judaism. For example, the native plant Salvia palaestina — the model for the menorah used in the Temple — is described exclusively in botanical terms in the book of Exodus (25:31-35).

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Rabbi Howard Cohen is the founder and director of Burning Bush Adventures — a Jewish outdoor-adventure program — and a former firefighter, chaplain and pulpit rabbi. A graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Cohen is a former member of the board of directors of the Green Zionist Alliance.

The Jewish Energy Guide presents a comprehensive Jewish approach to the challenges of energy security and climate change and offers a blueprint for the Jewish community to achieve a 14% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by September of 2014, which is the next Shmittah, or sabbatical, year in the Jewish calendar.

The Jewish Energy Guide is part of COEJL’s Jewish Energy Network, a collaborative effort with Jewcology’s Year of Action to engage Jews in energy action and advocacy. The guide was created in partnership with the Green Zionist Alliance.

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