Summer into Fall: Heal the Earth, Overcome the Plagues of Arrogance

Action Description: 

Join in Resistance to  arrogant modern pharaohs that are bringing plagues –- ecological disasters -- upon humanity and Earth.  Dates: August 28-30, multireligious nonviolent civil disobedience at the White House callng on the President not to OK the "Tar Sands Pipeline" from Canada to Texas; September 7-8, major anti-fracking demonstrations, conference, & "Interfaith Bessing of the Waters"  in Philadelphia;  September 24-25, world-wide actions called by to address the climate crisis and limit CO2 emissions; and October 28-29, observing the Shabbat of the Noah story as Climate Healing Shabbat.

Background Information: 

On September 7-8, the national commercial association of companies that are “fracking” shale rock regions – fracturing the rocks by forcing tons of poisonous chemicalized water into them so as to force natural gas out -- will gather for a national convention in Philadelphia.

This is a regional and national issue. The Marcellus Shale region in Pennsylvania, New York State, and nearby areas is one of the major arenas of struggle over the dangers fracking poses to aquifers and
drinking water. Nationally, the Cheney-Halliburton exemption to the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts makes it difficult even to know what poisons are being injected into our water supply and soil, let alone to
regulate them.

Environmental organizations that are specially concerned with fracking are planning to face the “Fracking Business Association” with major demonstrations on September 7-8. The goal is at least 2500 demonstrators, with a rally, vigils, a march, a counter-conference, an outdoor concert, etc. 

The Shalom Center is taking the lead in bringing together an interfaith planning committee to put together a "Blessing of the Waters" as part of the Sept 7-8 arrangements.

We invite religious folk, clergy and lay, who want to take part in these events to get in touch with us by writing Rabbi Arthur Waskow at with "Interfaith Blessing Waters" in the subject line. 

The two-day anti-fracking event will include: a large rally at the Philadelphia Convention Center from 8 am to noon, Wednesday September 7; a march through Philadelphia to Gov Corbett's office that day; interfaith "Blessing of the Waters" at Penn's Treaty Park on the Delaware River at 6 pm; an open-air free concert at 7 pm there; and on Thursday, an all-day conference to plan strategy to stop fracking.


On September 24, the network called, founded by Bill McKibben, has called for a third wave of world-wide actions demanding cuts in out-of-control CO2 emissions that are increasingly threatening ourplanet and human society.

That day is the last Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah; its Torah reading includes the passage “Choose life, that you and your children may live!” In the Jewish calendar it is the 25th of Elul  -- according to
tradition, the anniversary of God’s creation of the world.  Slichot is that night. All these teachings hearten us in bringing Jewish wisdom and presence to the effort, either that day or the next.

On October 28-29, the traditional Torah reading for the Jewish community
is the story of Noah, the Flood, the Ark, and the Rainbow. Two years
ago, The Shalom Center urged that Shabbat Noah and the week before it be
observed as “Climate Healing Shabbat/ Week.”  We persuaded practically
the whole range of Jewish religious leadership to call for that kind of

We urge congregations –- Christian, Muslim, Unitarian as well as Jewish
--  to plan educational efforts, public ceremonies, and political action
on the climate crisis for that time.

Already the first collection of materials for such an observance exists in two places on the Web:

Click here for lesson plans, prayers, and
project ideas that will work for families, schools, and synagogues,

including songs/prayers/Torah that you can add to a service or classroom
that take only five minutes.

Click here for ways of reframing the Flood story and applying its lessons for our time.

Please get in touch with us about any of these three dates and how you
might like to use them to help heal our wounded planet and prevent the
worsening of disastrous floods, droughts, fires, hurricanes and
tornados, etc. that are already plaguing many countries, including the

Jewish and Interfaith Topics: