Shalom From the Shabbat Lady

Posted on 24 December 2009 by admin

By Laura Seymour

Dear Families,

Recently the Dallas Jewish community experienced the Topsy Turvy bus, and we learned all about being powered by veggie oil and so much more. As a confirmed biblioholic, I, of course, picked up every pamphlet and bought two books: “Torah of the Earth — Exploring 4,000 Years of Ecology in Jewish Thought,” Vols. 1 and 2. In addition, the Teva Learning Center has great programming going on plus CDs to sing about the earth. For children (and adults), singing gets the message deep inside us. How can we learn more?

Judaism has long been a promoter of saving the earth — matter of fact, since the world was first created! Today we have a renewal of efforts and energies to save our environment and to teach our children so that they will be stewards of the earth throughout their lives. We want to teach them to value the earth, and that begins with wonder. Think about this from Rabbi Marcia Prager:

“Imagine if at every moment we each embraced the world as the gift it is: An apple is a gift; the color pink is a gift; the blue sky is a gift; the scent of honeysuckle is a gift…. We are called not merely to notice casually now and then that something is special and nice but to sustain and deepen a profound and sustained gratitude. Indeed, the more we acknowledge our gratefulness, the more we temper our tendency to be users, despoilers, arrogant occupiers. We are on the way to kedushah [holiness].”

So how can we learn more so that we can DO more? Here are some great Jewish Web sites to find out:

tevacenter.org

gogreeninisrael.org

coejl.org

greenzionism.org

hazon.org

jnf.org

And, read the Torah — find the texts that speak to you about the earth and the value of tikkun olam — healing the world! “Mah nora hamakom hazeh — how awesome is this place.” (Genesis 28:17)

Laura Seymour is director of camping services and Jewish life and learning at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas.

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