Philadelphia Jewish Exponent: Preventing a New World Flood, Sustaining the Web of Life

Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, October 15, 2009

An old Southern black song cries out: "God gave Noah the rainbow sign; No more water, the fire next time." Long before that, the ancient rabbis spoke of a mabul eysh -- a "flood of fire." In their days, they were fantasies. But in our generation, the flood of fire has come upon us in the form of global scorching and the rising of the seas.

Noah & "Dominion" over the Earth

Ellen Bernstein

This coming Shabbat, October 24, 2009, hundreds of thousands of people in 158 countries around the globe will be participating in the International Day of Climate Action. They will try to convince world leaders to craft policies to help bring atmospheric concentrations of CO2 down to 350 parts per million—the figure that scientists say is the safe upper limit for CO2 in the atmosphere, the amount that will enable life to continue to thrive on the planet.

Seven reasons for optimism about the Senate climate bill

By David Roberts
Grist, 12 OCT 2009

Conventional wisdom says that the Kerry-Boxer clean energy bill faces a long uphill slog in the Senate against unlikely odds. BUT – in politics, small changes can build beneath the surface of the news cycle and emerge unexpectedly as a rapid shift. There are seven reasons for cautious optimism.

1. Key Republican support is already in place, as Sen. Lindsey Graham takes to The New York Times editorial page with John Kerry to offer full-throated support for passing clean energy legislation this year.

Brit Keshet v’ Tzit-tzit – A Covenantal Ceremony of the Rainbow & the Sacred Fringes

By Jeremy Parnes
[Parnes is a rabbinical student in the ALEPH smikha program. This liturgy/ commitment is a project as part pf the course on Eco-Judaism taught by Rabbi Arthur Waskow in 2009.]

The following is intended as an annual gathering and ceremony:
1. At Motzei Shabbat of Parshat Noach just before Havdalah and leading to a simple Havdalah service.
2. This to be followed by a workshop with the Kahal to make and dedicate a special rainbow Tzit-tzit to signify each attendees commitment to environmental wholeness and to tend the planet with due care.

For Shabbat Noach: A Prayer for Creation

Rabbi David Seidenberg has provided us with a prayer focused on global climate disruption (aka "global warming"), healing the skies, and the original blessing of creation. Rabbi Seidenberg writes, "The liturgy is partly based on P'ri Eitz Hadar (the first published Tu Bish'vat seder), and on the Sefardi liturgy for Sukkot. It can be used after Torah reading every Shabbat, alongside prayers for the government, Israel, peace (in many synagogues), and the congregation. It could also be used many other times, e.g. after the counting of the omer or on Lag B'Omer."

Actions on Shabbat Noah

Flood in the Arava desert in Israel

Dozens of communities in America and Israel have already committed to participating in Global Climate-Healing Shabbat (initiated by The Shalom Center) on Shabbat Noach, October 23-24, 2009. Congregations and communities from as far as Uruguay and Israel have told us that they plan to be part of this consciousness and activism-raising weekend.

Evanston IL Celebration of Creation & a Call for Climate Healing

A Message from Rabbi Brant Rosen on plans for Noah Shabbat in Evanston IL.

This fall, Shabbat Noach -- when Jews around the world read the Torah portion about the Flood, Noah, the Ark, and the Rainbow -- comes on October 23-24, the day when a number of experts on the global climate crisis have called for world-wide actions to protect our planet from climate disaster. The Shalom Center has called for a nation-wide “Global Climate Healing Shabbat” to acknowledge the severity of climate change and to call on international leaders at the December UN conference in Copenhagen to make the decisions necessary to greatly reduce threats to our climate.

The Return of Captain Noah

[By Rabbi Phyllis Berman & Rabbi Arthur Waskow from their book TALES OF TIKKUN: NEW JEWISH STORIES TO HEAL THE WOUNDED WORLD]

Scorching heat poured down outside the cave. The air wavered as it rose from baking rock. Within the cave, carved deep into the Ararat mountainside, all was as cool as it had been when Noah and Na’amah took apart the great Ark and packed it away, spar by spar and plank by plank.

The Voice filled the cave. “Sleepers, awake! Noah, Na’amah — I need you once again!”

From within the cave came groans and yawns and wails. What looked like blankets tossed into a heap began to stir. “Be quiet,” a voice muttered; “You promised us five thousand years of sleep.”


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