Uncategorized


    How a Climate Catastrophe Can Be Averted

    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 ...

Read More


Why Jews Should Not Support Republicans in the US Midterm Elections

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) ...

Read More


Can Climate Change Be a Decisive Issue for Democrats in the US Midterms?

    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 ...

Read More


Do Republicans Support the Truth or Donald Trump?

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 ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Rosh Hashanah: 5783

by Rabbi Katy Allen The Eternal came down in a cloud. וַיֵּרֶד ה’ בֶּֽעָנָן (Ex. 34:5) Clouds, you change,  from minute to minute, from day to day, from season to season, from year to year, growing, shrinking, 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 ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 29: Chasing Sunrise

by Sarah Chandler The rolling fog Invites me To stretch my neck To peek at a new perspective It’s Not quite bright enough To squint ~ 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 On me ~ It’s the light in front of me That allows me to ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 28: When One Door Closes, Another Opens

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 ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 27: Grateful Lament

by Judith Felsen, Ph.D. My King, 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 ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 26– Turning to Shabbat: An Ecological Approach

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 ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 25: For the Land in Not Mine

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 Every day ~ 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 ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 24: Choosing Gratitude

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 ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 23: Signal Hill

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 ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 22: Fifty Shades of Green

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 ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 21: The Earth Objects

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)[1] “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 ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 20: Unfinished Blessing

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 ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 19: Like the Wilderness

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 ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 18: Pine Needles

by Asher Hillel Burstein Of love’s immortal way they said, Cheat the grave her wonted siege. Garlands round your plot of earth, Home the wand’ring lights of I. Who now as all on edge of time, Toll the eager moonlit tide. No nuptial love has such a kind, That hopes for songs he cannot write. Nor knows a heart like his so dimmed, By sweet rejected notes; he aches. To share with one for whom he dies, By day, by night; so long the years. Of tears; his right to humble space, Immortal face, which none can see, For neither son nor ...

Read More


Ravage or Repair? Time to End Offshore Leasing

Should the oceans be sold to the highest bidder? Ki li ha'aretz, the land is sacred.

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 17: Butterflies

by Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein I live on the prairie, in the Prairie State of Illinois. Not a “Little House on the Prairie,” a big house, but there are vistas that remind me of that show. In a county that is known for its dairy farming. Borden Milk came from here. The library is the Gail Borden Public Library. That Borden. The house across from the synagogue is known as the “Butterman’s House” because the prices for butter as a commodity were set there. There was even a documentary called “From Dairies to Prairies.” Once, before it was farmland, it ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 16: Illuminating the fire of the burning bush.

by Carol C. Reiman Livestreaming ladder of angelic messengers. Protecting voice of the she-ass, female with the weight of responsibility, birthing words of courage, seer of boundaries This is the place in which we have walked, oblivious or called. Wandering, weeping by waters, reaching beyond and within. Nurturing what was pulled from the reeds, allowing the land and its tenders to rest, leaving food at the edges for those in the margins. Joy in first fruits, dancing in gratitudes, peace in the soul. Carol C. ...

Read More