From Beth David’s October Monthly:
Fall is a time when all of us are paying more attention to the earth and its seasons … admiring the leaves, raking leaves, drinking pumpkin spice lattes. The Jewish calendar is particularly attuned to the earth at this time of year. Rosh Hashanah is called “HaYom Harat Olam” in our prayerbook – the day the world was born. And Sukkot, the fall harvest holiday, encourages each of us to live closer to the earth, spending time outside in the Sukkah, and bringing a lulav and etrog inside with us.
Sukkot might just be my favorite holiday, so I hope you’ll join us for some of the programs we have planned – Torah Study and breakfast in the Sukkah on the first morning of Sukkot, lunch in the Sukkah after Shabbat services during Sukkot, or the Religious School fieldtrip to Linvilla Orchards on the Sunday of Sukkot.
My installation last month is an event I will never forget, and I’m so appreciative to all of you who turned out in such large numbers and who helped make it such a special evening. I loved the connections to the earth over that weekend: from the hand-picked flowers from your gardens that decorated the tables at dinner, to the Mitzvah Night session on Judaism and climate change, to the delegation that came with me to New York City that Sunday to represent Beth David and join other Reform Jews – and 400,000 others from around the country – in the People’s Climate March. Please see our Facebook page or the back page of the Monthly for pictures from the amazing weekend!
Following Mitzvah Night and the Climate March, a few of you have asked me for suggestions about what else you can do to live up to our Jewish obligation to be Shomrei Adamah, protectors of the earth, as God commands Adam in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15). Here are two easy suggestions.
First, consider signing these petitions from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism:
RAC Petition to the President and Congress regarding the UN Climate Summit:
RAC Petition to EPA supporting the Clean Power Plan proposal:
Second, consider switching to a “clean power” electricity supplier for your home or business. All of your electricity can come from a power plant fueled by wind energy. You’ll still get your bill from PECO as you always have – the difference is that PECO will use your money to buy power from a supplier using renewable energy, rather than a traditional supplier using fossil fuels. I made the switch several years ago, and my electric bill is not significantly higher than it was before. Visit http://www.choosepawind.com/buy-pa-wind for more details.
May 5775 be a year of blessing for all of us, for our people, and for all who call our beautiful planet home.