כִּֽי־בָרֵ֣ךְ אֲבָרֶכְךָ֗ וְהַרְבָּ֨ה אַרְבֶּ֤ה אֶֽת־זַרְעֲךָ֙ כְּכוֹכְבֵ֣י הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וְכַח֕וֹל אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־שְׂפַ֣ת הַיָּ֑ם
I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand upon the seashore.
Imagine a living, green menorah as a symbol of our covenant to be guardians of God’s earth.
The rainbow, with it’s varied and beautiful refracted hues has become the symbol of diversity, including in our Jewish communities: diversity of gender identity and sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, and physical or intellectual ability, among many other factors. The Torah teaches that every human being is created in the divine image. Check into these organizations that foster diversity and inclusiveness in the Jewish world (I love noting how often retreats and camps are part of the work!):
It is all too easy to see so many situations in the world—on the local or global scale—that seem dark and bleak. Consider the old proverb, “Better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.” Find one step that you can take for light,for healing, and do it today. (more…)
The Rainbow Covenant & the Planet
Although we often first learn the story of Noah as children, as if it is just a colorful tale of a floating zoo, it is actually a terrifying story of destruction, chaos, and survival. After Noah, his family, and the animals survive the Great Flood, God chooses the rainbow, an existing natural phenomena, as the sign of a covenant of forbearance not just with one person or even a nation, but with the entire planet.
Picture the splitting of the Reed (or Red) Sea. Based on the movie versions, we tend to visualize Moses raising his staff, so that the waters part instantly—supernatural special effects! But the Torah (Exodus 14:21), offers a more naturalistic depiction of the miracle, one that involves wind: (more…)
We have heard the expression “Sea of Torah.” But how about Torah as coral?
Famed oceanographer Sylvia Earle explains that just a few decades ago, human beings imagined that the world’s oceans were so vast, there was no way that humanity could harm them. The ocean was seen as bottomless basket of resources for humanity, providing us with everything from fossil fuels to fish. (more…)
The blowing of the shofar is also a call to take action for justice in the world.