Eco-Rabbi: Parshat Korach – Using The Land to Cover Up Our Mistakes

ec-rabbi jewish spiritual side of the environment ecology judaism israel green clean technology green techThis week’s Bible segment describes revolution and miracles. The leadership of Moses and his brother Aaron are questioned and God comes and backs up his choice with various miracles.
But the challenge was no simple disagreement.

Korach’s challenge to Moses was seen as blasphemy. God had set up the camp to be an incubator for his young nation. The people who had caused the uprising were unraveling the seams of the nation that God and Moses had worked so hard to build.

Metaphorically, God took care of the waste in the camp.

When you have garbage and it starts smelling up the house, you dump it. And that is exactly what God did. The ground swallowed up all of the people of the rebellion cleaning them from his people’s midst.

Man has been dumping his garbage in landfills for millennia. Back in early pre-industrial times waste was mainly composed of ash from fires, wood, bones, bodies and vegetable waste. It was disposed of in the ground where it would act as compost where it would help to improve the soil. When the Industrial Revolution came around materials became more available than labor. When reusing and recycling used to be commonplace, now the same practices of burying our waste has become destructive. Now we use materials freely that do not even break down…

While it was a viable solution for God, it is no longer a viable solution for us. Let us recycle when we can. Those of us who have gardens should consider compost heaps. But most importantly, Israel is now one of the forerunners of clean technology. Technology has brought us to this point. We are now at a place where we can use technology to fix our mistakes. Let us embrace this and clean out our camp.

For more Eco-Rabbi, see:
Stones Across the Path
Eco-Rabbi on Parashat Naso
Eco-Rabbi, Man the Tree of the Field

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