לַה ' הָאָרֶץ וּמְלוֹאָהּ “ The Earth is God’s , & that which fills it.” Psalm 24:1 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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לַה ' הָאָרֶץ וּמְלוֹאָהּ “ The Earth is God’s , & that which fills it.” Psalm 24:1
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לַה ' הָאָרֶץ וּמְלוֹאָהּ “ The Earth is God’s , & that which fills it.” Psalm 24:1

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  1. JRF & GreenFaith לַה' הָאָרֶץ וּמְלוֹאָהּ “The Earth is God’s, & that which fills it.” Psalm 24:1 WHY Green Religion WHO is practicing it WHAT is Eco-Torah Inspiring Examples (Adat Shalom & JRC) Tachlis / Next Steps R. Fred Scherlinder Dobb January 2012

  2. I. Why Ecological Religion? A. God and the long term: Psalms B. Uniquely effective use of voice C. History shows… D. Deepening of commitment E. Pluralistic religiosity is key F. “It’s in there” – authentic insight

  3. A. The Experience of Divinity “Let the heavens declare God’s handiwork…” (19) הַשָּׁמַ֗יִם מְֽסַפְּרִ֥ים כְּבֽוֹד־אֵ֑ל “Let all that has breath/soul praise God…” (150) כֹּ֣ל הַ֭נְּשָׁמָה תְּהַלֵּ֥ל יָ֗הּ הַֽלְלוּ־יָֽהּ “[God] sends springs into the valleys... they water all the animals of the field; the thirst of the wild asses is ended. The birds of the sky dwell by them; they sing out from among the branches... the Earth Is satisfied by the fruit of Your works ... the trees of God are satisfied; the cedars of Lebanon, which God has planted - there birds make their nests; the house of the stork is in the fir trees. The high hills are for the wild goats; the rocks are a hiding-place for the badgers...” (104)

  4. B. Effective Use of Religious . Voice: Gus SpethWangari (Yale)Matthai z”l(NobelPeace Pr.) “I used to think the ‘big three’ were climate, biodiversity, & pollution, but after many years of work I now think pride, apathy, and greed are even bigger. We need cultural and spiritual transformation, and science doesn’t do that -- the church does that.” Organizer of GreenBelt Movement -- Planted over 40 million trees: “All of us have a God in us, & that God is the spirit that unites all life, everything that is on this planet.”

  5. C. History shows: Religion drives Social Change

  6. In our own time, too -- Endangered Species Act (reauth.,1995-96) Evangelical Biologist, Dr. Cal Dewitt

  7. Rel. Ecology Deepens Green Commitments -- and vice-versa(all varieties of eco-theology) Main Traditions in the U.S., as outlined by Laurel Kearns (1996): - Eco-Justice - Stewardship - Creation Spirituality

  8. Here’s who deepens my commitment! Religion helps us think inter-generationally -- on theological (or at least geological) time scales, rather than quarterly or biannually

  9. “Choose life, that you and your children may live” (Deut. 30:19) וּבָחַרְתָּ בַּחַיִּים - לְמַעַן תִּחְיֶה, אַתָּה וְזַרְעֶךָ She also Deepens my Commitment – This is our Synagogue’s New Composter’s Dedication (on Tu B’Shvat)!

  10. E. Pluralistic Religion is Key (for Human Survival!)

  11. And (F) “it’s in there” – like Religion = Long-Term (vs. prevailing ‘secular’ ethos): More on the substance of Green Religion in a moment -- But first, a sense of just how broad is the consensus! Tom Toles 3-21-11

  12. so, II: WHO / WHERE for Greening Religion? seewww.coejl.org(for instance)orInterfaithPowerAndLight.org

  13. www.interfaithpowerandlight.org

  14. Metro DC: www.gwipl.org www.theregenerationproject.org In 2011: 36 states 5,000+ Covenant Congregations 10,000+ Congregations engaged

  15. www. nrpe. org US Catholic Conference of Bishops

  16. More Interfaith Eco Resources www.WebOf Creation.Org • www.Green • Faith.org

  17. NCRLC

  18. לַה' הָאָרֶץ וּמְלוֹאָהּ “The Earth is God’s, & that which fills it.” Psalm 24:1 Rooted in this sacred and shared commitment, consider a few great green-religious efforts:

  19. PROTESTANT: www.baptistcreationcare.org How Many Lightbulbs Does it Take to Change an Episcopalian?

  20. CATHOLIC: Vatican: world’s first carbon-neutral state; 2,400 solar modules Now, “environmental pollution”, doctrinally, is a true “social sin” Now: 300 kw solar, cost 1.2m Euro; 225 tons CO2 Next: 740 acre solar farm north of Rome to power Vatican Radio and grid Carbon offset: restored ancient forest in Hungary

  21. EVERY GREAT FAITH: Buddhist Monks Ordaining Trees

  22. …AND JEWISH!

  23. www.coejl.org

  24. The Jewish Food move- ment has really taken off, first with in CT, and then adding Kayam In MD, the Jewish Farm School in NY, Urban Adamah in CA, and more, all with help from Hazon (these photos via Adamah at Isabella Friedman)

  25. And Torah-focused (www.CanfeiNesharim.org), Israeli (e.g. www.http://www.heschel.org.il/en), and progressive (www.shalomctr.org) resources:

  26. (for starters):--לא-תַשְׁחִית Righteous people of good deeds ... do not waste in this world even a mustard seed. They become sorrowful with every wasteful and destructive act that they see, and if they can, they use all their strength to save everything possible from destruction. But the wicked are not thus; they are like demons. They rejoice in the destruction of the world, just as they destroy themselves.... (Sefer HaChinuch 529; 13th century) Great, organizations like ; what about the teachings?!III. WHAT’S IN THE GREEN TORAH

  27. Text Study – Green Torah In our tradition, it goes back to BIBLICAL religion:(assembled by JRF Rabbis Shawn Israel Zevit & Fred Scherlinder Dobb) • “The Eternal God formed the human (adam) from the dust of the Earth (adamah). God blew into its nostrils the breath of life, and the human became a living being… The Eternal God took and placed the human being in the Garden of Eden, (l’ovdahul’shomrah) to till / serve it and to guard / tend it.” – Gen. 2:7, 2:15 • “The land must not be sold beyond reclaim, for the land is Mine; you are but strangers/wayfarers, resident with Me.” – Leviticus 25:23 • “The Earth is the Eternal’s, and all that it holds; the world, and its inhabitants.” – Psalm 24:1

  28. God took Adam, and placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, לְעָבְדָהּ-l’ovdah [to work/serve/till it] וּלְשָׁמְרָהּ- u’l’sh- omrah [and to guard/ tend it]. (Gen. 2:15) IN THE BEGINNING...בְּרֵאשִׁית

  29. Shabbat: Limits to Consumerism Judy Chicago, “Rainbow Shabbat” ‘Tending the Earth Together’

  30. 1 (Deut. 6:4)

  31. Environmental Justice: A Religious Natural Leviticus 19:16

  32. Text Study – Green Torah Later, RABBINIC literature is full of green sensitivity:(assembled by JRF Rabbis Shawn Israel Zevit & Fred Scherlinder Dobb) • “God led Adam around the Garden of Eden and said: 'Look at My works. See how beautiful they are, how excellent. See to it that you do not spoil or destroy My world – for if you do, there will be no one to repair it after you." – Midrash QoheletRabbah 7:13 • “Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai ... used to say, “If you have a sapling in your hand, and someone should say to you that the Messiah has come, stay and complete the planting, and then go to greet the Messiah.” -- Avot de Rabbi Nathan, 31b • Rav Zutra said, “one who covers an oil lamp or uncovers a naphtha lamp [i.e. causes the fossil fuel to burn less efficiently than possible] violates the law of baltashchit / do not waste.” -- Talmud Shabbat 67b

  33. Text Study – Green Torah Through MEDIEVAL /HASSIDIC times, too:(assembled by JRF Rabbis Shawn Israel Zevit & Fred Scherlinder Dobb) “Torah does not permit a killing that would uproot a species, even if it permitted the killing [of individuals] in that species.” – Nachmanides (ca. 1270) on Deuteronomy 22:6 “It should not be believed that all the beings exist for the sake of the existence of humanity. On the contrary, all the other beings too have been intended for their own sakes, and not for the sake of something else.” – Rambam (1190), Moreh Nevukhim 3:13 “Nature is of the very essence of Deity.” -- Baal Shem Tov (ca 1750), Shivkhe Ha-Besht, 329 “Master of the Universe, grant me the ability to be alone; may it be my custom to go outdoors each day among the trees and grass and all growing things, and there may I be alone, and enter into prayer.” -- R Nachman of Bratzlav (ca 1810), MaggidSichot, 48 “Know that when a person prays in the field, then all of the grasses/plants together come into the prayer, and they help him, and give him strength within his prayer.“ -- Rebbe Nachman of Brastlav (ca. 1810), LikuteiMaharan 11

  34. Text Study – Green Torah In the MODERN era Green Torah becomes clear:(assembled by JRF Rabbis Shawn Israel Zevit & Fred Scherlinder Dobb) “I can contemplate a tree. I can accept it as a picture... I can feel it as a movement... I can assign it to a species and observe it as an instance... I can overcome its uniqueness and form so rigorously that I can recognize it only as an expression of law... I can dissolve it into a number, into a pure relation between numbers, and externalize it. Throughout all of this the tree, the tree remains my object and has its time span, its kind and condition. But it can also happen, if will and grace are joined, that as I contemplate the tree I am drawn into a relation, and the tree ceases to be an It.” -- Martin Buber, 1923, I and Thou, pp. 57-58 “Small is the world that most of us pay attention to, and limited is our concern. What do we see when we see the world? There are three aspects of nature that command our attention: its power, its beauty, and its grandeur. Accordingly, there are three ways in which we may relate ourselves to the world – we may exploit it, we may enjoy it, we may accept it in awe.” – Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (circa 1955)

  35. Text Study – Green Torah And even in OUR OWN time, Green Torah expands:(assembled by JRF Rabbis Shawn Israel Zevit & Fred Scherlinder Dobb) “Baltash’hit (Avoiding waste): Material resources are limited, and we have the responsibility to guard against overconsumption and needless waste. No matter how much we can afford to buy, we should protect each thing of worth to any person or creature even if it has little value to us directly. This reflects gratitude for what we have and appreciation for the needs of all.” – David A. Teutsch, 2008 A Guide to Jewish Practice: Introduction, Attitudes, Values and Beliefs – Kashrut: The Jewish Dietary Laws Second Edition In Praise: Genesis 1,2 Hail the hand that scattered space with stars, Wrapped whirling world in bright blue blanket, air, Made worlds within worlds, elements in earth, Souls within skins, every one a teeming universe, Every tree a system of semantics, and pushed Beyond probability to place consciousness On this cooling crust of burning rock. Oh praise the hand, mind, heart, soul, power or force That so enclosed, separated limited planets, trees, humans Yet breaks all bounds and borders To lavish on us light, love, life This trembling glory. -- Ruth Brin, Kol Haneshamah Daily Prayer Book, p. 433

  36. IV. INSPIRING EXAMPLES Exhibit A, the community I know best: Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation sustainable materials where possible; living wage always

  37. EPA “Energy Star” Congregation, 2002 Adat Shalom Recon. Cong., Bethesda MD .

  38. Adat Shalom Recon. Cong., Bethesda MD Many replicable innovations – see JRF’s sustainable syn. resources…

  39. And, Adat Shalom just installed 44kW of solar panels on our roof! Your community can too…

  40. Not just physical plant, but PROGRAM counts too… Here’s our Pre-Pesach Eco-Justice Boat Tour of the Lower Anacostia – Adat Shalom, with Community Partners, 2010

  41. In 2011, we went further in kayaks & canoes, on the upper river, with friends from the Anacostia Watershed Society!

  42. Adat Shalom’s Mishnah Garden * Organic * Local * Educational * Spiritual * Communal * Activist

  43. Intergenerational, Too!

  44. Donated to nearby low-income ‘fresh food desert’ – tikkun olam

  45. Connection Awareness Pride & Joy Knowledge Experience Security Earthiness Cluefulness Tradition Members say the Mishnah Garden means: