Being a Jew holds many responsibilities. Environmental awareness, concern, and taking care of our planet is one of them.
Trees are a huge concern, and there is a holiday dedicated to them, those wise, sages of the earth, all knowing, holding life and secrets, that their trunks, branches and bark contain.
Agricultural festivities acknowledge the importance of nature, crops, land, tilling, and the fruits of the land are celebrated with their importance in our daily lives. Seasonal changes affect crop growth, and celebrations acknowledge the force of land, earth, and its life-giving, life-saving bounties we receive from it
Tikkun Olam, or repairing the world, is a vital force within Judaism. It relates to our cognizance of protecting and safeguarding not only humanity, but also Earth and its environment.
Global warming is a constant topic of discussion among Jewish leaders. Organizations and groups communicate together, roundtables, in order to gain perspective on the environment and how it affects us now, and will affect generations to come. Facilitators speak, lecture, use charts and videos, recognizing, validating, the necessities to forge agreements within social, communal, economic, financial, fossil fuel issues, and other elements, in order to sustain, harbor, and protect humanity and Earth from environmental disasters.
One disaster, are the oceans and the trash that is dispensed within the waters, the waves carrying it hundreds, often thousands of miles, into its depths, and reaching the edges of other countries. There have been methods undertaken in order to try to eliminate the pileups of trash, infecting marine life, shipping boats, pleasure boats. There have also been community forces at work.
Local groups in most cities, that are bordered by oceans, lakes, rivers, even ponds, congregate together in order to use their waste collecting products, and band together in order to collect the garbage, the human waste, the plastics, the discarded food, paper products, styrofoam products, soda cans, beer bottles, disposable diapers, and so much more.
Collecting garbage, trash, is a part of the whole, as far as the Jewish responsibility of repairing the world, Tikkun Olam. It is an illlumination of protecting lands, oceans, the Earth, and the sky (the air we breathe). Without these collective efforts the mass pollution of waste within land and water, sky and life, would accelerate, immensely, through the carelessness of humans.
On my walks by the river, a lake, bird habitat, or the canyons, I see plastic bags hanging from tree branches, garbage, literally floating in the river. There is food waste thrown in lakes, ponds, and wildlife habitats. I often see trash thrown to the side of walking paths, people uncaring, unconcerned about how their refuse affects the land, the wildlife. Animals can, and do, die from eating the dryed, decaying contaminations.
When possible, I pick up what I can, as I carry a bag with me when I walk. It isn’t always possible to do that, unfortunately.
I try my best, to keep the land, and its inhabitants safe, protected, as much as I can. I am only one person, one Jewish individual, who believes in Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, the land, the river, the wildlife habitats, in my own community. For me, repairing the world doesn’t constitute sacred texts, although I do read them, within my Jewish life, but it epitomizes the social responsibility we all have, as humankind, to repair and replenish our earth, the Earth, our planet, with constructive efforts aimed at keeping us, and our lands, healthy and safe from harm.
I know I am not the only one who cares, deeply, for the here and now, but also concerned for future generations. I also realize that it isn’t only Jews who advocate this philosophy. All religions encourage environmental awareness and protection. One does not have to be religious, or have a religious belief in order to care for the planet.
Humankind, human kind, exhibits its concern, and awareness. We are all one, under the sun.
“Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory, or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible––and there is still so much work to do.’ @BarackObama, on Twitter, today.
Repairing the world of injustice, racism, and oppression, is of extreme importance. Acknowledging why Black Lives Matter, supporting their injustices, including crimes and murders against them, economic and financial repressions, etc., and listening to what they have to say, is the least we can do. It is imperative we come together to repair, care, and envelop black lives.