Below are my 8 articles related to Tu Bishvat.
Their titles are:
1. Why Is This Night Different: Thoughts on Tu B’Shvat
2. Tu B'Shvat and Vegetarianism and Veganism
3. Preserving the Sacred Environment: A Religious Imperative – A Tu Bishvat Message
4. Lessons From Trees: a Tu Bishvat Message
5. Celebrating Tu Bishvat as if Environmental Sustainability Matters
6. Lessons From Trees that Can Help Heal Our Imperiled Planet
7. For Tu Bishvat: 36 Jewish Quotations About Trees
8. Questions That Can Be Considered At a Tu ...
Over my 88 years, I have had many positive interactions with rabbis. I have been impressed with their inquisitiveness, thoughtfulness, and openness to new ways to interpret and understand our Jewish scriptures. It is because of these and other positive attributes that I have written this open letter appealing to you and other rabbis to come out very strongly against a very common practice in the Jewish community (and others) that violates basic Jewish teachings and is the main reason the world is rapidly approaching a climate catastrophe.
Israeli Rabbi Asa Keisar is on a mission. He wants to increase awareness of Jewish teachings about compassion for animals and how far the realities for animals on modern, intensive factory farms are from these teachings. To accomplish this, he has given away about 35,000 complimentary copies of the Hebrew version of his book, Before the Blind, mostly to students at yeshivas and other schools throughout Israel. Now the book has been published in English and Rabbi Keisar is continuing his efforts to get his book to as many people as possible. He is considered by many as ...
By Richard Schwartz
Many connections can be made between vegetarianism and veganism (henceforth veg*ism) and the Jewish festival of Chanukah:
1. According to the Book of Maccabees, the Maccabees lived on plant foods since they were unable to get kosher meat when they hid in the mountains to avoid capture.
2. The foods associated with Chanukah, latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (fried donuts) are vegetarian foods (and would be vegan foods if egg substitutes were used), and the oils that are used in their preparation are a reminder ...
It is becoming increasingly apparent that the world is rapidly approaching an unprecedented climate catastrophe, so severe that all of human life would be very negatively affected and possibly even eliminated before the end of this century, unless major positive changes soon occur.
This article discusses why the situation is so serious and then the one possibility of averting the catastrophe and shifting our imperiled planet onto a sustainable path.
Climate groups have been issuing increasingly dire warnings of the ...
There are many reasons why Jews should not support Republican candidates in the potentially very consequential US midterm elections. They include:
1. Republican politicians have become like a cult, supporting former President Trump’s “big lie” that he won the 2020 presidential election and his many other lies, misrepresentations, and conspiracy theories. They contend that Trump won despite the very strong evidence to the contrary, including: (1) all of the pre-election polls, including those conducted by Fox News, showed Joe Biden with major leads, (2) ...
The many very severe climate events this summer and the increasingly dire warnings of climate experts have made people more aware of the seriousness of climate threats. Yet, polls have shown that the climate issue is way down on the list of people’s concerns when deciding how to vote in the midterm elections.
The Democrats can gain greatly in these very consequential elections by emphasizing the seriousness of climate threats and why they are likely to soon become far worse and the potential harm if Republicans regain power due to ...
Most Republicans running for office in the US midterms are claiming that Donald Trump won the US 2020 presidential election, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And many other Republicans who may not believe that big lie are supporting politicians who do. Trump constantly repeats his assertion that he won the election and polls indicate that about 70 percent of Republicans believe him.
Democrats running for office can gain significantly by asking their opponents whether or not they believe that Trump won by a landslide, as he has ...
by Rabbi Katy Allen
The Eternal came down in a cloud. וַיֵּרֶד ה’ בֶּֽעָנָן (Ex. 34:5)
from minute to minute,
from day to day,
from season to season,
from year to year,
even sometimes seeming to disappear,
doing whatever is necessary,
whatever is needed,
to fit the conditions,
never losing your key identity,
as a cloud.
In this new year, may we find what is needed
by Sarah Chandler
The rolling fog
To stretch my neck
To peek at a new perspective
Not quite bright enough
My eyes wide across the valley
Trying not to wait
For something else to be
Just when I think
My orientation is eastward
The clouds above the mountain
Tickle the sky
Spreading north across the orange glow
These trees form a frame
Filled with smaller frames
So that each frame of light
Can shine through
It’s the light in front of me
That allows me to ...
by Joan Rachin
Like many of a certain age, my husband and I had decided to downsize, but unlike many others, ours was less a choice and more a necessity following his stroke two+ years ago. We loved our town, neighborhood, and street and had been making plans to “age in place” before life intervened.
As I began to survey the overwhelming task ahead, it was clear that my obsession with helping preserve what pristineness remained in nature had become disconnected from my personal behavior of “littering” our home. My husband gently commented that the books ...
by Judith Felsen, Ph.D.
How will I love You when we meet in this year’s fields of Elul?
You who have sent illness, pandemic, bloodshed, injustice, hypocrisy, fire, starvation and death…
We have been estranged and denying our separation for eons
Now it has come to this…
With my ambivalence how will I love You?
Will I remember that You sent us Your
starry sky on Your darkest night
blooms of wild flowers in Spring
symphonies of songs and calls
vocal ensembles of insects and ...
by Dr. Leah Cassorla
In the loaming, Boobah the One-eyed Wonderdog and I sit outside in our vast, shared backyard, watching the swallows. As the evening descends, we watch the tree line of the nearby patch of forest. The lightning bugs begin their fiery dance before us, the swallows swoop in and out, and hares hop in and out of the line of sight--my line of sight as Boobah's is thankfully too restricted to catch them. I consider this beautiful, if tiny, patch of Olam Ha'bah, and it shifts me to another space.
I've been a whole-foods, plant-based eater for ...
by Rabbi Louis Polisson
And the land shall not be sold for ever; for the land is mine;
for you are strangers and sojourners with me1
And now we are learning
That the Land belongs to No One,
To the One with No End
For the earth was confusion and chaos2
And we too have become
wild and waste
Human beings from the earth
Human beings, full of harm3
for the earth
But our fate is not sealed
There is hope
There is choice
There is justice4
And there is return, an answer, repentance
The time to ...
by Rabbi Judy Kummer
It was my ankle that went. There I was, in the gorgeous Berkshires countryside, walking briskly with my sister-in-law on a glorious true-blue spring day, sun spilling giddily over wildflowers by the sides of the country road, bugs thrumming merrily in the long grass and the smells of freshness and potential all around.
My sister-in-law pointed out cows in a nearby field; as I glanced over at them, savoring the sunshine on my face, my foot failed to notice missing pavement at the edge of the road — and I took a tumble, twisting my ...
by Thea Iberall, PhD
Signal Hill stands 365 feet above Long Beach in Southern California looking down on San Pedro Bay, home of the largest US port. In the 1500s, Tongva tribe members stood on the hill sending smoke signals to their families on Catalina Island. Early settlers used to call it the Bay of Smokes. Eventually, large homes were built on the hill, surrounded by an abundance of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Even a Hollywood movie studio shot films there.Signal Hill changed forever when oil was discovered in 1921. It became covered with over ...
by Rabbi Suri Krieger
“Green green, it’s green they say, on the far side of the hill
Green green I’m goin’ away to where the grass is greener still”
It’s a song that was a familiar refrain for me in my growing up years. I loved the message as much as the melody. We were a camping kind of family, and grazing in the greenery of the woodlands was my sacred place. But wherever we went… the Green Mountains of Vermont or the Poconos of Pennsylvania… the green was always somehow marred by the inevitable Fast Food throw-aways of the various camping ...
by Rabbi Charles R. Lightner
“And the giants began to kill men and to devour them. And they began to sin against the birds and the beasts and creeping things and the fish, and to devour one another’s flesh. And they drank the blood. Then the earth brought accusation against the lawless ones for all that was done on it.” (1 Enoch 7:4-6)
“And again I saw them, and they began to gore one another, and the earth began to cry out.” (1 Enoch 87:1)
The Book of 1 Enoch is the oldest work of Jewish apocalypse, portions dating to the fourth century BCE. Its ...
by Bill Witherspoon
We were supposed to name all the animals.
Lately we have gotten pretty good at it,
While it begins to dawn on us that
Even that slender branch of the tree of life
(Let alone the one on which crawl the slime molds,
Or the branch dotted with archaea microbes that turn salt ponds pink
Or the one spread with green life that converts sunlight into food)
Is just too prolific for words.
Still, 500 animal species named since last Elul
(150 of them the beetles of which She is “inordinately fond”)
Is kind of impressive for an ...
by Rabbi David Seidenberg
The book of Numbers begins, “YHVH spoke to Moshe in the Sinai wilderness.” The midrash asks, why does it specify “in the Sinai wilderness”? Because the wilderness is ready to receive all people and belongs to no one. Just so, the Torah receives all people and belongs to no one, not even to the Jewish people. In the Shmitah year, we are similarly reminded that the land of Israel/Canaan/Palestine belongs to no one – that we are just “sojourners and temporary settlers” (gerim v’toshavim) on the land (Lev 25:23).
The rabbinic ...