Consumption Subscribe

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


Blogs

“Who Stole My Religion?” has been published!

HERE'S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THIS UPDATED BOOK BY RICHARD SCHWARTZ. The many endorsements below are included to show that it is not just the author, but also many other people – of various perspectives – who think their religion has been “stolen,” but who still believe that religious values have relevance to current issues. It is our hope that the voices of the people who submitted the statements below, as well as many more voices, will be raised to help revitalize Judaism and other religions and to apply religious values effectively in response to the ...

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Greening Your Travel: Part Two

Summer is here and what better way to honor the environment and the Jewish principle of baal tashchit (do not waste) than by planning your summer travels to be as eco-friendly as possible.  Here are a few tips to help as you plan your summer getaway:  Use eco-friendly transportation as much as possible:  Some options include doing a biking vacation and/or taking public transportation (such as train or bus) to get to your ultimate destination.  These alternatives are often cheaper and also reduce your carbon footprint as opposed to travelling by car. Bring your ...

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Shavuot and Vegetarianism

There are many connections between vegetarianism and the important Jewish festival of Shavuot: 1. Shavuot is described as "z'man matan Torateinu" (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). 2. To honor the Torah, many Jews stay up the entire ...

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A Shavuot Message: Applying Torah Values To Our Diets

Since Shavuot is z'man matan Torateinu (the commemoration of the giving of the Torah to the Israelites on Mount Sinai), many dedicated religious Jews admirably stay up the entire first night of Shavuot to hear talks about and discuss Torah teachings. Among these Torah teachings are that Jews should preserve human health, treat animals with compassion, protect the environment, conserve natural resources, help hungry people, and pursue peace. By becoming vegetarians, and preferably vegans, Jews would be partaking in a diet that is most consistent with these basic ...

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The Jewish Imperative of an Animal-Free Diet

Jeffrey Cohan, the Executive Director of Jewish Veg, is coming to Teaneck, NJ. He will be leading an hour-long, interactive presentation at Congregation Beth Sholom on the significance of Tza'ar Baalei Chayim (the Jewish mandate to prevent animal suffering) in our contemporary world. This event begins at 7 pm and is free and open to the public.

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Passover and Earth Day

This year, the first night of Passover and the annual Earth Day both occur on April 22nd. Hence, this is a good time to consider environmental messages related to Passover and the events and concepts related to the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt: 1. Today's environmental threats can be compared in many ways to the Biblical ten plagues: When we consider the threats to our land, water, and air, we can easily enumerate ten modern "plagues." For example: (1) acid rain (2) depletion of the ozone layer (3) destruction of tropical rain forests (4) global warming ...

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Passover and Vegetarianism

Passover and vegetarianism? Can the two be related? After all, what is a seder without gefilte fish, chicken soup, chopped liver, chicken, and other meats? And what about the shankbone to commemorate the Paschal sacrifice? And doesn't Jewish law mandate that Jews eat meat to rejoice on Passover and other Jewish festivals? An increasing number of Jews are turning to vegetarianism and they are finding ways to celebrate vegetarian Passovers while being consistent with Jewish teachings. For many years, Jonathan Wolf, a Jewish vegetarian activist, has had up to 50 people at ...

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Inconsistencies in Passover Eating

It seems strange that Jews go to great lengths on the festival of Passover to observe Torah verses commanding us to avoid some foods, while ignoring other scriptural verses relevant to the consumption of other foods. Among the features of Passover are the prohibitions of eating, owning or benefiting from chometz, foods such as breads, cakes and cereals that are made from one of the five grains (wheat, barley, rye, spelt and oats) that have undergone fermentation as the result of contact with liquid. These prohibitions are based on several Torah verses and are treated ...

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Get Ready for Earth Day

By JEI intern, Maggie McCarthy Though the earth sustains us, its health depends upon our care and responsible use of its resources. Protecting the planet is both a religious and spiritual imperative. The Hebrew phrase l’dor v’dor captures this central command. We must pass on a thriving earth “from generation to generation”. Earth Day provides the perfect occasion to remember our duty to the planet. In attempts to raise environmental awareness, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin proposed a day of celebration, instituting the first Earth Day on April 22, ...

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Support your local farmer

When shopping for groceries, many of us are quick to turn to the closest chain store for food items. We often forget to uphold the principle of “Bal Tash’chit” which urges us not to waste. This value is central to Judaism and has the potential to stave off further environmental damage. Although we may not see the potential for waste in purchases from supermarkets, oftentimes these stores harm the national environment and detract from local business. While many boast convenience, they often fail to provide locally sourced meats, grains, dairy products, and produce. ...

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Climate Catastrophe or a Sustainable Future – It Depends On Our Food Choices

Climate experts from 195 countries have gathered in Paris working to come up with an agreement that will help avert a climate catastrophe. However, they are overlooking an important factor and this threatens the success of their meeting. Here are some important reasons that it is essential to address climate change: Science academies worldwide, 97% of climate scientists, and 99.9% of peer-reviewed papers on the issue in respected scientific journals argue that climate change is real, is largely caused by human activities, and poses great threats to humanity. Every ...

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Conserving Our Oil: A Chanukah Message

Richard H. Schwartz   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 future conflicts between nations might involve scarcities ...

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Chanukah and Vegetarianism

                       Chanukah and Vegetarianism  Jews can enhance their celebrations of the beautiful and spiritually meaningful holiday of Chanukah by making it a time to begin striving even harder to live up to Judaism’s highest moral values and teachings by moving toward a vegetarian (and preferably a vegan) diet. Please consider: 1. According to the Book of Maccabees, some 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 Channukah, ...

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Eco-friendly baby products

If you are expecting a baby or have little ones in your home, you may be wondering how to surround your infant or toddler with products that are environmentally safe.  Below are a few suggestions that will  help reduce waste (baal tashchit) and keep your baby healthy  too. Make your own organic baby food—The safest food for your baby is the same fresh, organic food you eat.  Rather than worry about additives in store bought baby food and the waste caused by purchasing all of those little jars, buy a baby food grinder. After pureeing items, you can also make extra ...

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Is Eating Meat a Mitzvah that Comes from an Aveirah (Transgression)?

Judaism places much stress on performing mitzvot, carrying out God's commandments. However, a "mitzvah haba'ah b'aveirah" - a mitzvah based on an aveirah (sin or "illegitimate means") - is forbidden and is not considered a mitzvah. For example, if one uses a stolen lulav and esrog on Sukkot, it is not a proper mitzvah. Similarly, if money is stolen, it cannot be used to give tzedakah (charity). In fact, the sages indicate that it is better not to do the mitzvah at all than to do a mitzvah haba'ah b'aveirah. Eating meat is arguably a mitzvah haba'ah b'aveirah, actually ...

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The Jewish Veg Event of the Decade


Light the Way: Support Pope Francis’ Call for Climate Action

Pope Francis is speaking to world leaders at the UN on September 25 with a simple message for politicians: There is no more time for talk.  Now is the time to act on climate change. In his recent encyclical on climate change, Pope Francis wrote that “…faced as we are with global environmental deterioration. I wish to address every living person on this planet.”   His impassioned message to humanity was drawn from Torah.  He wrote that Genesis 2 teaches us that we are required to respect and protect the dignity of every human being.  And Psalm 148 is a ...

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Yom Kippur at the Lincoln Memorial

YOM KIPPUR Day of Atonement/ At-Onement Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC September 22-23, 2015 Sundown to Sundown For more information, and to RSVP, please visit the Facebook event page: Yom Kippur 2015 at the Lincoln Memorial   Kol Nidre  6:30pm to 8:30pm Morning Service with Yizkor   10am to 1:30pm Minchah/Neilah  5:00pm to 7:45 pm, concluding with shofar blasts followed by a multi-faith vigil   Yom Kippur is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, a fast day for seeking both Atonement and At-Onement.  At this moment in history, we humans ...

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Eden Village Camp is hiring a Farmer/ Educator

Eden Village Camp is Hiring! About Eden Village Camp: Eden Village Camp aims to be a living model of a thriving, sustainable Jewish community, grounded in social responsibility and inspired Jewish spiritual life. By bringing the wisdom of our tradition to the environmental, social, and personal issues important to today’s young people, we practice a Judaism that is substantive and relevant. Through our Jewish environmental and service-learning curricula, joyful Shabbat observance, pluralistic Jewish expression, and inspiring, diverse staff role models, we foster our ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 18 – Elements

by Judith Felsen, Ph.D.   When You gave us wind we hid from it when You offered us  rain we wasted it when You made us earth we contaminated it when You gave us air we polluted it when You showed us fire we abused it. Our response to You has been destruction. Your response to us is Your correction. Maybe we have one more chance for our connection.   Judith Felsen, Ph.D.  Copyright 2015 Judith Felsen holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, certificates in hypnotherapy, NLP, Eriksonian Hypnosis, and Sacred ...

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