By Rabbi Shaul David Judelman
The Sefer of Bereishis is dedicated in memory of Jacob Cohen by Marilyn and Herbert Smilowitz and family.
Any of the below “Suggested Action Items” can help foster our sense of belonging to the place we inhabit and ultimately help us to nurture the awareness from where sustainable living habits will grow naturally. The taste and song of Green living are the greatest allies in affecting substantial organic change in our patterns. For if we end up with an environmentally sustainable lifestyle but have never grown any more aware of our surroundings and our personal connection to that which is outside of us, we may be missing one of the ultimate lessons the environmental crisis is here to teach us.
Suggested Action Items:
- Find a guide to local plants and wildlife, providing yourself with a glimpse of what was here before us.
- Learn the local geology of your neighborhood and natural forces that sculptured the terrain – transform walking to the corner store into a hike!
- Discover who the natives were who grew up in harmony with the place you currently live.
- Learn the factors in your local climates (beyond the weather forecaster) to increase success in planning outings under good weather.
- Introduce school children to the ecosystem that exists below the asphalt and that which has developed above it.
- Buy foods from local farms, cutting down tremendously on the transport costs of fuel and also bringing you into sensual contact with place and time.
Rabbi Shaul David Judelman currently resides in Jerusalem. After growing up amongst the Douglas Firs of Seattle, Washington, he came to Israel on a quest for Judaism alive in its land. He spent six years in the Bat Ayin Yeshiva Rabbinical program and now teaches at Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo while working on several different environmental initiatives in Jerusalem. He is the founder and coordinator of Simchat Shlomo’s Eco-Activist Beit Midrash, a program offering holistic in-depth Torah study around issues of ecology.