In Judaism it is traditional to make blessings. In fact sometimes it can feel, for the initiated, that one makes blessings for everything! It can be inconvenient, however, I believe that what lies behind, is the true nature of what it means to be green.
There are basically three categories of blessings: before enjoying something, to give thanks, before fulfilling a commandment.
The first category, before enjoying something, includes the blessings one makes before eating, before smelling something fragrant, etc.
The second category, to give thanks, includes the blessing one makes after surviving a dangerous journey.
The third category includes the blessing one makes while placing on phylacteries or shaking the palm branch on the festival of tabernacles.
Blessings were not originally part of the religion, except for grace after meals. The Rabbis, in the spirit of the religion, instated blessings in order to enhance one’s religious lifestyle. And this is where I think it gets green…
You come home from a long day at the office, STARVING! Your spouse, having gotten home earlier, has already prepared dinner. You sit down to eat. WAIT! You first have to contemplate for a moment what you are eating, and that it is from God.
You are driving in the car and come around a bend where you see a beautiful view. You have an obligation to thank God for creating such a beautiful creation.
I think that living green takes the same sort of awareness. Awareness of the beauty of nature, and not to destroy it, awareness of what you wear – was it created by slave labor? Awareness of the food you eat – is it healthy? Was the process for creating it bad for the environment?
This awareness lifestyle is what ensures that the way we live our lives is the best way for us, and the world around us.
Photo credit: geilam