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Eco Rabbi on Purim and Building a Good Society

This week Jewish people everwhere, and in Israel,  celebrate the festival of Purim, which I would call the festival of communal identity. The beginning of the Megillah (what Jewish people read on Purim) opens with King Achashverosh’s party, a seven-day-all-out-eat-your-heart-out party. After spending an entire half-year celebrating throughout the country, the king wanted to impress […]

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Eco-Rabbi: Parshat Beshalach – Water of Life

Each week Orthodox Jews read one segment of the Five Books of Moses so that they can complete the entire Five Books within the course of a year. In last week’s Eco-Rabbi post we discussed the power of symbols. This week continues with discussing of water and life. Pharaoh finally agrees to let the Jewish […]

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What To Do on Tu B’Shvat in Israel

Tu B’Shvat is the Jewish holiday marking the beginning of a new year for trees, and is usually celebrated by planting trees and exchanging gifts of dried fruit with loved ones.  While these traditional activities are great and we support going out to plant trees (thus increasing the amount of carbon-eating leaves out there), these […]

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Eco Rabbi takes the Hanukkah Challenge!

Ever wonder why every day of Hanukkah we add another candle? The Jewish religious source the Talmud explains that this disagreement goes back to the Jewish sages Hillel and Shamai. Hillel explains that we add another candle every day “for the days coming” and Shamai explains that we start with eight and remove a candle […]

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Eco Rabbi: Parshat Vayetzei – Working Together

In this week’s segment Jacob leaves his parent’s home. Jacob just out-maneuvered Esau, his brother, for the birthright and now Esau wants revenge. Jacob hopes to stay with family in Haran. On his way there Jacob sets up camp in a special “place.” Sources explain that that place is holy and is either the Temple […]

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Eco-Rabbi: Genesis and Environment

“Look at My work, how beautiful and perfect is everything that I created. I created it for you. Be careful not to ruin and destroy My world. If you ruin it, there is nobody to restore it after you.” (Ecclesiastes Rabba 7:28) It’s not only about offsetting and it’s not about who’s right. The above […]

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Green Holiday Celebrations Continue with a Green Sukkah

After celebrating Rosh Hashana sustainably this past week (even making pomegranate-nut salad for that extra special touch), some of us may be looking forward on our calendars and wondering how to celebrate the next holiday in an environmentally friendly way.  Yom Kippur is already, by default, observed in a green way due to the complete […]

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Have a Healthy Ramadan: Greening Your Fast

We’re now just over a week into Ramadan, and hopefully those of you that are fasting have settled into a comfortable routine.  For any of you that may still be trying to find your way, though, we thought we’d do a bit of research into the best ways to keep your eating healthy and earth-friendly […]