"God gave Noah the Rainbow Sign:

No More Water; The Fire Next Time!"



Petitions are not enough!

Let’s send a FLOOD of Sacred texts, objects, pictures and environmental books to Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency --  which he is swiftly turning into the Earth Poisoning Agency.

The story of Noah, which Jews will be reading in the Torah-reading cycle this next Shabbat, October 20-21, tells the story of an utterly disastrous planetary Flood brought on by corrupt human behavior, in which only the spiritual depth and creative ingenuity of a few people save enough species in the web of life to begin anew. 

The Flood parable stands as a warning to our own generation. Indeed, ancient Jewish commentary (Midrash Rabbah on Genesis, 49:9) and a Southern Black spiritual warn us that we might bring a Flood of Fire on ourselves:  “God gave Noah the Rainbow Sign: No more Water, the Fire next time!”

And in fact we are now suffering from both Floods of Water and of Fire, brought on by burning fossil fuels, happening faster that we can offer support for the victims. A climate crisis is already afflicting us, right now. Just in the United States, three Hyper-Hurricanes in one month, and unprecedented wildfires in parched California

And in the very midst of these unnatural disasters, the person in charge of the EPA has decided to destroy the CLEAN POWER PLAN, one of the most important steps the U.S. has taken to reduce carbon emissions, the main contributor to climate change.

Mr. Pruitt professes to be a person of faith.  And the communities of faith in America are potential sources of healing that are beginning to awaken to this danger and to the need to make our entire planet an Ark against disaster.

So we are calling on all people of faith and of ethical commitment to heal our Mother Earth to send the EPA and its director Flood-related passages from the Bible or Quran, from prayer books,  from other sacred texts and objects, or photos of the recent devastations and of the Rainbow.  These could go along with your own personal message and prayer that he will leave in place and even strengthen  the Clean Power Plan —

Indeed, pray and urge that he look beyond ending CO2 emissions to removing CO2 from the atmosphere —looking  toward the restoration of a climate as healthy for our children and grandchildren as it was for our parents and grandparents   — thus turning the hearts of the generations toward each other "lest the Earth be utterly destroyed" (Malachi 3: 23-24)..

Why actual texts and objects? These make a stronger statement and will be harder to ignore or throw away. (But if you are indeed worried about possible violations of the sanctity of a sacred book, that is a good reason to send a passage instead, with your note. You could even send a print-out of this letter.)

We are trying to reach Mr. Pruitt and the American  people in a language that many of us understand. We envision a DELUGE, preferably from every state and perhaps other countries.

We encourage you to make copies of this Call and distribute them. We encourage rabbis and Jewish congregations to announce the beginning of this campaign this Shabbat as one action to carry forward our reading of the Flood story  --  our own effort to build an Ark and lift the Rainbow of protection for all Earth. For other religious communities, we encourage spreading the word as soon as possible.

For secular folks, we encourage you to send your favorite environmental book, or a bound copy of your research, or a framed picture of a place or species you hold dear that would be or already is being affected by climate change, or a framed picture of the devastation.

How to deliver them? We will gather these mailings at a church in Washington DC near the EPA and then choose an  appropriate time when an assemblage of the faithful can gather in a vigil to deliver them by hand to the EPA at 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, only a few blocks from the White House.  

Please send your sacred texts and objects, photos of the Floods, letters, even just a copy of this Call, to: 

The Shalom Center, c/o New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1313 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005

If you are also interested in taking part in a possible nonviolent, prayerful in-person vigil at the EPA in the near future, please email:  Flood@theshalomcenter.org  with your name, affiliation, address, and phone number. 

Blessings of shalom, salaam, peace for Earth and all its human communities --

  • Rabbi Katy Allen (Jewish Climate Action Network, Boston)

    Rabbi Elliot Dorff (American Jewish University of Los Angeles)

    Dr. Mirele Goldsmith (Jewish Climate Action Network,  NYC)

    Rabbi David Ingber (Congregation Romemu)

    Rabbi Raachel Jurovics (President, Ohalah Rabbinical Association) 
    Rabbi Mordechai Liebling (Reconstructionist Rabbinical College) 
    Ruth Messinger (Board, Hazon)
    Rabbi David Shneyer (Congregation Am Kolel)

    Rabbi Arthur Waskow  (The Shalom Center)

    Rabbi Rain Zohav (Interfaith Families Project of Greater Washington)

    [Signers are signing as individuals only; affiliations are mentioned for identification only.]


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