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, […]
It could only happen in 2008. During the year of Shmitta, which is every seven years, Jewish law dictates that we not work the land of Israel in any way. The Jewish National Fund customarily organizes tree-planting activities that attract thousands of people in honor of Tu B’Shvat…but not during Shmitta.
Controversial Danish Eco-Skeptic Bjorn Lomborg is currently in Israel. Today he is due to present a lecture at the Knesset arguing that funds set aside for environmental protection would be better spent on research and development for the “possible” negative effects of global warming.Professor Lomborg, author of the book, ‘The Skeptical Environmentalist’, which ruffled many […]
This kicks off the first in a series of tips to make you and your life, a little more green. Home is where the green heart is, and the kitchen is a great place to start making your home more environmentally friendly. As children, who can’t remember the kitchen being the center of activity in […]
Here is a video recap of Israel’s recent WATEC (water technologies), conference. We were there this past November, and collected tons of notes and brochures on clean technology and innovation you’ll be hearing about in the near future.See also the story on Israel21c.::WATEC
“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 […]
It reminds us a bit of the canary in a coal mine story – throw a living creature into a dangerous situation, and if it lives, forge ahead.If it dies, oh well. Rethink strategy.An Israeli company Checklight has put this concept into practice, using the luminscent bacteria found in the sea, like on the beaches […]
Micheal Reynolds is a true visionary of a sustainable way forward for humanity, housed in buildings that use throwaway materials and don’t need external power or sewage systems. ‘Food, Energy, and Sewage’ is his mantra, and getting them or getting rid of them without reliance on the National Grid system is his pre-occupation. Thankfully, Reynolds, […]
I recently had the opportunity to interview poet laureate and known environmental activist Robert Hass (full interview is here).Hass was in Israel for the “Poetic Natures” conference in Tel Aviv last week, and while he was here he explored some of Israel’s unique environmental features.Among many topics, Hass spoke about the environmental parallels between Israel […]
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.
From the same gal that brought us the inflatable kayak skirt (the Evacuation Skirt), which is great for flash floods when global warming sets in, comes the 2-in-1 slipper rocker chair. This is our first season in Jerusalem and can we tell you – it is freeezing here. We think if we had one of […]
Israel offers such an incredible potpourri of cultures. They all seem to melt together through Rachel Oren’s Ethnicware.There you can find one-of-a-kind cushions handcrafted by Bukarians, Ethiopian embroidery, a Bedouin bag… so many treasures and delights.We love the driftwood bowl, but imagine that it’s been imported from India.No matter, Green Prophet thinks it’s a good […]
The beginning of this year opened up a new hunting season, hunting smokers! According to Haaretz smokers beware! They’re out to get you! “It seems that no law has ever been enforced in Israel with such speed and efficiency. An army of municipal inspectors invaded cafes and bars, as did dozens of activists and volunteers […]
Barely two weeks after advertisers were forced to cover up billboards along Tel Aviv’s Ayalon highway, as a prelude to taking them down altogether, the powers that be have decided to allow the billboards after all. After the signs were ruled illegal by no less than the High Court of Justice, Israel’s wise lawmakers, led […]
By now, many people have heard of the electric car grid project that Israeli entrepreneur Shai Agassi is launching with $200 million capital. Agassi plans to build a grid of charging stations in all parts of the country that would provide a free power charge to electric car batteries. The idea is to provide an […]
Well it’s not that scary, and a bit naive, but it does beg the question: what’s really happening in Haifa? Israeli guys that we know say that the best looking girls in Israel are from Haifa.Could it be an interesting mutation from all the pollution?Nature’s little joke?
I love composting. It is pure satisfaction for anyone remotely interested in growing things, and watching how things can grow, sprout, shoot up, and also decay, die and rot. When you turn the soil, and see the half-eaten tomato, or ear of corn, or artichoke leaves from a recent dinner, and know that they are […]
Finance Minister Ronni Bar-On has presented, today, the proposals of the committee on green taxation to the government. The proposal suggests a sliding-scale taxation model based upon how good the car is for the environment. A car will be given “green points” from 1-100 based upon how bad, or good, the car is for the environment. Based […]
It’s a yearly ritual in Israel: we worry about rain. We worry when we don’t have rain in the winter, when it is supposed to fall; and we worry when we get rain if it’s the wrong time for the crops. This is not a new phenomenon: the Jewish religion is richly interwoven with customs […]
Just in time for Tu B’shvat is a Sde Eliyahu organic gift package that you can pick up after an on-site bio tour. The kibbutz where’s yours truly spent almost a year, is home to Mario Levi, Israel’s grandfather of organic gardening.
We have never seen these “green police” in action, but we’d like to believe that they exist, if only in our dreams. This video is a cheesy commercial for Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry police, and what they will do to you if you pollute. Watch out! It’s in Hebrew, which makes their Cops-esque slogan sound […]
A great place for marketing your handmade goods is the online arts and crafts website, Etsy. While standing in the rain selling your wares at arts markets, like Nachalat Binyamin can be fun, it can also be extremely time-consuming and boring. Take our word for it. We’ve been there. Enter Etsy: The online trading fare, […]
Timna Valley north of Eilat in the Arava Desert, believed to be the ancient site of King Solomon’s mines, is under threat. The pristine valley is in danger of being turned into a Disney-land style hotel complex and spa, and convention hall. Four hotels are planned for the site, Daniel reports in the Jerusalem Post. […]
The hot environmental topic this season, seems to be about banning the bag – the plastic bag that is.Zalul ‘s blog Clear has reported on it this week and has provided a link (in Hebrew) where you can sign a petition to get the plastic bag banned in Israel.San Fran has done it, so has […]