Sermon for Shabbat Pinchas: A Present Tragedy

Sermon for Shabbat Pinchas: A Present Tragedy


This sermon was originally delivered in July, 2010 by Rabbi Alexandra Wright, Senior Rabbi at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St. John's Wood, London, England.

One of the peculiarities of being Jewish is that we live across two time zones. We live in the world of the secular calendar from January to December in the year 2010, but we also live within the Jewish calendar in the year 5770 and currently in the month of Tammuz. T

…Last Tuesday was the Fast of the Seventeenth of Tammuz, a day to which Jewish tradition ascribes a number of catastrophes, most notably the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem by the Romans in the year 70 CE. The day inaugurates a three week period of mourning known simply as the Three Weeks, culminating in the major fast of the 9th Av which commemorates the destruction of both Temples and more recent tragedies in Jewish history, including the Holocaust.

…But even as we rejoice…it might be appropriate during these Three Weeks of solemn commemoration, to draw our attention to one of the greatest tragedies that is unfolding before our very eyes even as we speak.

I am referring to one of the worst environmental catastrophes in history: the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig on the night of April 20th and the spillage of thousands of tons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico that remains unstoppable even until today.

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