Conservation Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on conservation.


Blogs

Earth Etude for Elul 14- Elul’s Comin”

by Judith Felsen   In days of Av anticpatin’ I have done my exploration searching, seeking digging deeper all to clear the space as greeter. From the bottom of my looking I can sense great times are coming soon our King will sure arrive and in fields we both will thrive. Therefore now and always ever will this earth be seen as heaven by all those who now know its glitter shimmering sparks both there and hither. May we join in joyful meeting in all lands we’ve tilled this season. Welcome King, we greet your visit ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 10- Topsy Turvy Bus

by Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein   The world seems a little topsy turvy these days. A plane missing. 223 girls kidnapped in Nigeria. 3 teen agers kidnapped and murdered in Israel. A plane shot out of the sky. Israel in Gaza. Rockets in Israel. Too many children killed in the streets of Chicago. Too many deaths. When does it stop?   In the Fox River Valley, Illinois, after a punishing winter of epic proportions, it is nice to be outside. Six congregations, part of the nascent Prairie Jewish Coalition, sponsored the Topsy Turvy bus.   What is a ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 8 – Waves on the Beach

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen I stand on the beach. Waves--      I hear them, see them, rising, falling, splashing, foaming. Deep within me    waves form,   rise up, are released, unite with the ocean waves. Throughout my body   sadness.... grief.... despair.... engulf me. The Earth is suffering. I cannot simply stand, sit, lie, relax. Act, I must, driven by my grief,  by my love, by the waves, in order to live with myself, with the Holy One of Blessing-- who is able to quiet waves, in the sea, in my soul-- who continues ...

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Adventures in Being “So Kind”

Register. There it was on my list of pre-baby things to do. I had the feeling that people would want to buy things for us, and I knew they’d be asking if we had a registry. Setting one up seemed like the proper thing to do. It would help everyone know what we needed. But the truth was, we didn’t need all that much. We had saved bags of clothing, toys and other baby gear from our older son. And we live in a generous community where neighbors had already given or lent us key things like a carseat, a baby swing, a jogging stroller and our choice ...

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Video of Richard Schwartz’s 80th birthday celebration in Jerusalem on April 22, 2014

Below is a link to the video of my 80th birthday celebration in Jerusalem on April 22, 2014. It features talks by Rabbi David Rosen, Professor Yael Shemesh of Bar Ilan University, Rabbi MK Dov Lipman, Rabbi Yonatan Neril, director of the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, Rabbi Adam Frank, my older daughter Susan Kleid, and me. It is just under 41 minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwFKE359y5k&feature=youtu.be There wre also 2 prerecorded talks: Rabbi Adam Frank's prerecorded greetings:(2 minutes and 25 seconds) is at: ...

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Heavenly and Earthly Jerusalem: Can Pilgrims Leave a Positive Footprint?

By Naomi Tsur. NAGOYA, Japan — Jerusalem faces unique challenges and opportunities. Conservation of our natural and built heritage is a solemn commitment, but we must also assess and implement the potential for urban revitalization. We need to expand our mass-transit system (the first of its kind in Israel), encourage active transport (biking and walking) and focus on development of the city's strengths, such as cultural and religious tourism, while not neglecting to address its weaknesses, in order to provide comprehensive solutions for solid waste and ...

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Join Jewcology at the Teva Seminar!

Jewcology is proud to be a partner in the 20th Annual Teva Seminar on Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education! Monday, June 9 – Friday, June 13, 2014 at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center Join us for a week dedicated to renewing our relationship with the earth, gaining garden education skills, and studying eco-Torah. The Teva Seminar is the premier annual professional development opportunity in the field of JOFEE: Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education. Featuring leaders in the JOFEE field: Nili Simhai, Mordechai Leibling, Jakir ...

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Loss and Transformation – Earth Grieving

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen I teach a class called Loss & Transformation: Connecting Sacred Texts to Family Stories to Help Deal with Loss, in which I set forth a theology of how our losses can lead us to be transformed, and how the joining of the stories of our familial ancestors with texts of Jewish tradition can provide a useful tool in transforming our grief into a deeper relationship with the Sacred and bringing us to a place of greater strength and peace. At the core of the theology is the phrase we recite to mourners, HaMakom yinachem etchem – ...

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A Dialogue Between a Jewish Vegetarian Activist and a Rabbi

For a long time, I have been trying to start a respectful dialogue in the Jewish community. Because I have had very little success, I am presenting the fictional dialogue below. I hope that many readers will use it as the basis of similar dialogues with local rabbis, educators, and community leaders. If you do, please let me know how it turns out. Thanks. Jewish Vegetarian Activist: Shalom rabbi.. Rabbi: Shalom. Good to see you. JVA: Rabbi, I have been meaning to speak to you for some time about an issue, but I have hesitated because I know how busy you are, but I think ...

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Sukkot, Simchat Torah, and Vegetarianism

There are many connections that can be made between vegetarianism and the joyous Jewish festivals of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret (the Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly), and Simchat Torah: 1. Sukkot commemorates the 40 years when the ancient Israelites lived in the wilderness in frail huts and were sustained by manna. According to Isaac Arama (1420-1494), author of Akedat Yitzchak, and others, the manna was God's attempt to reestablish for the Israelites the vegetarian diet (Genesis 1:29) that prevailed before the flood, in the time ...

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An Overlooked Mitzvah: Tsa’ar Ba’alei Chaim/A New Year for Animals Message

While tsa'ar ba'alei chaim (the mandate not to cause "sorrow to living creatures") is a Torah prohibition, many religious Jews seem to be unaware of it or to not consider it of any great importance. Some examples reinforce this assertion: • Upon reading an article about my efforts to get Jewish teachings on animals onto the Jewish agenda, a member of my modern Orthodox congregation was incredulous. "What? Jews should be concerned about animals?" she exclaimed. • Some years ago, I was at a Sukkot gathering at which there ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 2 – Elul Writing Project

by Molly Bajgot We’re nearing a time when the Earth will not provide as bountifully as it has in the past. In exchange for a loss of resources, I believe the Earth is pleading for us humans to return to ourselves, our deep souls, so we recognize a bounty that lives within us. Could this lead to the feeling of fertility in the human spirit, we may extend the times of plenty. Answering this call is not easy. We cannot stop deadlines so we may each have the time return to ourselves as a form of resiliency. It’s a necessary evil to take this time. We may ...

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Launch of Food Waste Action #4

Just before Tu b'Shevat, we launched our Year of Jewish Action on the Environment. Our goal is to empower the Jewish community to take action on energy conservation and reduce food waste this year. The program will continue through Tu B'Shvat 2014. Continuing with the Year of Action, we're now pleased to share the fourth action to reduce food waste! You can also see this action in the full list here. Food Waste Action #4: Put on My Plate ONLY What I will Eat. Eyes bigger than your stomach? Once that food is on your plate, ...

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RELATING TISHA B’AV TO TODAY’S ENVIRONMENTAL CRISES

Tisha B'Av (the 9th day of the month of Av) which we commemorate this year on July 15-16, reminds us that over 2,000 years ago Jews failed to heed the warnings of the prophet Jeremiah, with the result that the first Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, the first of many negative things that occurred on that day, including the destruction of the second Temple as well. Today there are many "Jeremiahs" warning us that now it is the entire world that is threatened by climate change and its effects, species extinction, soil erosion, destruction of tropical rain forests and ...

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Eco-Friendly Laundry Tips

May and June are the months for spring cleaning. In the spirit of reducing waste (baal tashchit) and respecting and honoring God’s creation the Earth, here are a few simple tips to consider in the laundry room: Control the Temperature of Your Washing Machine: About 90 percent of the energy use associated with doing laundry involves just heating up the water. Turn the dial to cold and save a huge amount of energy in the process. Wash Full Loads: Even the most energy-efficient loads use 40 gallons of water. Reducing the number of loads you do ...

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A Fictional Dialogue on Shavuot Night About Vegetarianism

Richard Schwartz For many years Danny Shapiro looked forward to staying up all night at his synagogue with his friends on the first night of Shavuot, hearing talks about and discussing Torah teachings. This year he especially anticipated this annual commemoration of the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, because Rabbi Greenberg would be meeting with Danny and other college students for an hour at 3 AM to answer any questions on Judaism that they brought up. Danny had recently become a vegetarian and had done a lot of background reading on Jewish ...

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Shavuot and Vegetarianism

Shavuot and Vegetarianism By Richard H. Schwartz There are many connections between vegetarianism and the important Jewish festival of Shavuot: 1. Shavuot is described as "z'man matan Toratenu" (the season of the giving of our law (the Torah)). It is this Torah that has in its very first chapter God's original, strictly vegetarian, dietary regimen: "And God said: 'Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed - to you it shall be for food'" (Genesis 1:29). ...

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Jewish Energy Guide: Thou Shalt Conserve Energy

By Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb Through the Talmud and other scholarly works, Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb examines the implication of bal taschit, “thou shalt not waste,” and how this commandment of conservation can be adhered to today. Thou shalt conserve energy” is not a biblical commandment, narrowly speaking, but it’s close. After all, the Torah’s 529th (530th by some counts) commandment, bal taschit, has long been commonly understood to mean “thou shalt not waste,” a principle that as far back as the Talmud specifi...

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MIRACULOUSLY STRETCHING THE OIL: CHANUKAH AND VEGETARIANISM

The Jewish festival of Chanukah commemorates the miracle of the oil that was enough for only one day, but miraculously lasted for eight days in the liberated Temple in Jerusalem. Hence, this holiday is a good time to consider our own use of fuel and other resources. Like Chanukah’s miraculous extension of scarce resources, vegetarianism also allows the increasingly scarce resources of our contemporary world to go much further. This is no trivial matter, since it is expected that many future conflicts between nations will involve scarcities of oil, water and other ...

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The Danger of Miracles: Thoughts on Chanukah and Oil

Post by Jewish Farm School Rabbinic Intern, Josh Boydstun - Reposted from Jewish Farmer's Almanac Chanukah—the Festival of Lights—offers us a joyous, eight-day respite from the cold, dark month of Kislev (November 14-December 13, 2012). Beginning on 25 Kislev (sundown on December 8), Chanukah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, following the successful Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BCE. (In Hebrew, “Chanukah” means “dedication, consecration.”) Perhaps the most ...

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