The Torah portion of Noah details a terrible ecological disaster — the flood that immerses the world in water and brings an end to all life — all because of humankind’s despicable behavior. Noah may have been the first environmental activist. He acted upon a divine commandment to keep every species of animal safe on his ark. The biblical story ends with an eternal covenant between God and humanity, in which we are promised that the land will never be destroyed again at the hands of the Creator.
Today, we are once again experiencing widespread destruction of the Earth, this time not as a divine punishment, but as a direct result of human actions. What is the connection between our generation and the generation of Noah? What can we learn from Noah’s story? And how, with our collective strengths, can we prevent the next flood?
Einat Kramer is the founder and executive director of Teva Ivri. Previously she served as an environmental fellow at the Heschel Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership. She is a graduate of the Tehuda professional Jewish leadership program and she completed her master’s degree in Bible and Jewish thought at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies. A founding member of Jewcology.com, Einat lectures widely on Judaism and environmental and social issues.
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.