Observing the solemn season around Tisha B’Av, we think of the destruction of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, and the Jewish exile from our ancient homeland. TCoral reef ecosystem at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Photo cedit: Jim Maragos/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serviceoday many Jews find new meaning in Tisha B’Av by taking this fast and this season as a time to ponder contemporary issues like the plight of today’s war refugees as well as the destruction of natural habitats on Planet Earth. At my synagogue observance, we added some poetry from The Shalom Center as a dirge for the destruction of natural habitats, such as many of the world’s precious coral reefs.

As we conclude this season of remembrance, which began three weeks ago on the very day said to be the day on which Moses broke the first set of Tablets of the Covenant, I offer this reflection on Torah and Coral in the Gateway of the Sea, based on a teaching of my late Talmud teacher, Rabbi Judith Abrams. It includes a wonderful video about Coral Reefs and a link to an organization where you can get involved.