When I was growing up whenever we would go to a park or on a camping trip, my parents would instill in me the importance of leaving the area where we had just been cleaner than how we had found it. This is probably one of the most influential ideas from my parents that has […]
In a special guest post, Steve Chase, the founder & director of the Environmental Advocacy & Organising course from Antioch University in New England, shares with Green Prophet his reflections from a University-wide event held this past february in the US that examined climate activism from both Jewish & Christian perspectives. “This week, Antioch University […]
You’re eating a bag of chips while walking down the street. As you finish you look around to find a trash can but nothing is in sight. Do you drop it? If the city doesn’t bother to make waste bins available, why should you care about the city’s cleanliness? How about eating a piece of […]
Two brothers wanted to thank God for what he had given them, but God only accepted the sacrifice of one of them. Abel sent the best of his livestock in thanks to God for all the blessing that he had given him and God found favor in his actions and accepted his gift. His brother, […]
Last week, God took care of the waste in the camp. This week Moses hits the rock. The Israelites had been traveling in the desert for roughly forty years, and Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, dies. After Miriam dies suddenly the People of Israel lack water. Commentaries explain that in Miriam’s merit a […]
This 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 […]
There are lots of great environmentally friendly outdoor activities to do during Shavuot, but if you don’t feel like going outdoors (or if you’re in a cheese coma) then the Heschel Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership is hosting an online seminar about Shavuot and the environment. We applaud the Heschel Center for this creative […]
When attempting to incorporate new elements and habits into our life what is the best way to do this? If I want to be greener, how do I go about doing it? If I want to be friendlier, how do I add this to my life? In this week’s Weekly Bible segment the laws of […]
I hate to admit it (especially since I’m a vegetarian and like to think of Shavuot as my holiday), but sooner or later the cheese thing is gonna get old. And not in a French, moldy blue cheese kind of way. More of in a self-induced lactose intolerance kind of way. Which is why it […]
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) just published a lengthy article about the cleantech scene in Israel. JTA articles are republished in Jewish newspapers around the world, and it is nice to see Israel’s cleantech sector getting publicity in the Diaspora. For another example, see Karin Kloosterman’s interview in the New Vilna Review. I am quoted […]
Spring is here at last which also means the festival of Passover (or Pessach in Hebrew) is soon upon us. Many Jewish festivals represent an opportunity to reflect on our ecological and ethical footprints and this is especially true on Pessach when our thoughts fall on the issues of our food, freedom and those who […]
We’ve seen how environmentalism can be applied to studies of literature, but what about Torah learning? While our Eco-Rabbi is one example that it’s possible to view Torah from an environmental perspective, there are other paths to environmental Torah learning blossoming all around us.
Food is never something lacking at Jewish celebrations, but, like most things in life, their environmental footprint keeps expanding, whether the factory-farmed chicken that ends up in the soup pan, or the throwaway plastic cutlery destined to spend the next few centuries in a landfill site. Our friends at Jewish eco-NGO, Hazon, have devised a […]
It once happened that a farmer was removing stones from his field and putting them onto a public thoroughfare. There was a certain pious person who challenged the farmer: “Why are you taking stones from what is not yours and putting them onto what belongs to you?” The farmer just laughed.
Our readers have also been asking about organic gardening during the shmita (or Sabbatical) year in the land of Israel. Are there any loopholes around the halacha? What does shmitta mean? We love the idea of shmitta. The biblically ordained one year out of seven when the land is left to lie fallow (this applies […]
Although Israel has grown into a modern post-industrial economy, the country still has strong agrarian roots, most famously, the agricultural socialist community of the kibbutz. But earlier than that, the Bible proscribes things to do to mark the passing seasons. There are rights and rituals for nature in Judaism and it all started thousands of years ago.
Throughout history when a great event happened people would reset their calendar. When a new king became ruler the year would start again with one. Similarly, that is why we are in the year 2008 Anno Domini, Latin for: in the year of our Lord, referring to the birth of Jesus. In the Jewish calendar, […]
“There are four heads of the year… on the fifteenth of Shvat for the trees…” Mishna, Tractate Rosh Hashana, 1:1 As our home revolves around the Sun, the Jewish calendar is circular as well. How does one year have four beginnings? A circle does not have any beginning, nor does it have an end. Wherever […]
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.
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) Those timely words written back somewhere between the sixth and eighth centuries pretty […]
Since the foundation of the first Kibbutz in Israel, nations around the world have looked to the Israeli model for communal living. One of the cornerstones of the kibbutz movement is C.A.L.L. (Communes at Large Letter), a seasonal magazine that reports on intentional communities in Israel and the rest of the world.
Haaretz reported today that the tender for building a massive solar power plant in the Negev will not be given preference to Israeli companies. The article explains that, “The decision was made, among other things, to avoid the impression that the tender was written for the benefit of the only two Israeli companies who could […]
I was out walking about a forest around Jerusalem today and kept hearing gunshots firing off from the Arab village across the way. They’re celebrating Hajj now, said my boyfriend. And I thought of all the Muslims who must be aching to make their pilgrammage to Mecca. With so many people converging in one small […]
Thousands of years before green became hot, the Jewish people were observing the Shmitta, or shmita, a sabbatical year. The Shmitta is documented in the bible as a year where farmers are forbidden to work the land in order to give the land a rest. The Lord said to Moses on Mount Sinai. (2) Speak […]