More and more people around the world are learning that walking* in nature can be a spiritual practice. It was surely known to our biblical ancestors, and today intentional time strolling in nature has become an international movement known as Shinrin Yoku or Forest Bathing.
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…)
“Planting a tree” for a happy occasion has become almost a Jewish stereotype, but it really is a huge mitzvah.
by Stephen Jurovics, Ph.D.
Each of the seasons of the year can evoke, for many of us, an image of what we most enjoy about that period. It may be the sequence of warm spring days with clear blue skies during which the outside world exerts a strong pull and diminishes our commitment to work or study, that period we call “spring fever.”
For others, it’s the summer days of sunshine and high temperatures when many leave work to vacation at the beach and enjoy the water, sand, and sunshine.
The familiar images and anticipated enjoyment are inexorably moving towards the remembered and unpredictable. Climate change is transforming everything, including our experiences of the seasons, and those changes will challenge our physical, visual, and emotional lives.
A haunting ancient Jewish melody with lyrics in Hebrew and English, chanted by the late Cantor Richard Kaplan. Dirges (kinot) of Tisha B’av, the summer fast to commemorate the destruction of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem, are here combined with visuals of our planet’s beauty, the ravages of climate change, and hopes for the future. Made and introduced by Barak Gale.
Bird metaphors as old as the Bible are still evocative today. When someone is favors fierce military actions, they are often called a “hawk,” while one who prefers diplomacy and peace is called a “dove.” The Dove has been a symbol of peace and security throughout the centuries, since the Biblical story of Noah and the Ark, in which the Dove returns to Noah with an olive branch in her beak.
But while the fierce hawk symbolizes courage, the gentle dove often needs it too. Peacemaking is often an unpopular path.