The Earth belongs to God, in all its fullness

The Earth belongs to God, in all its fullness: Working & Caring

A Jewish voice

Short version

Tu BiSh’vat has come, the festival of the trees!”, sing Jewish children atthis time of the year when we celebrate the New Year of the Trees. According to the Jewish calendar it falls on the 15th of Sh’vat (January/February) and on this day trees are planted, and a special meal, the Tu BiSh’vat Seder, is held in congregations. During this ritual, the text readings and songs are dedicated to trees and many fruits of trees are eaten. Over the past decades this day has evolved as an ecological awareness day in Jewish congregations throughout the world.

However, Shabbat has been the oldest Jewish holiday celebrating nature. According to Jewish tradition, the seventh day of the week has been determined for imitating God in resting and refraining from creative work. The beauty of nature, the purposefulness of every piece of God’s creation are the focus of many Shabbat prayers. While usually the social aspects of Shabbat have been in the foreground of Jewish observance and thought, the thought of humans giving up dominion over nature, at least for one day, takes on new relevance today while confronted with human-made ecological disasters and global warming. Environmental activists as well as more and more rabbis and teachers are committed to raising a Jewish awareness of our responsibility for the preservation of nature and an ethical stand towards meat and food production.

Long version

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#Jewish & Christian – Closer than you think?!

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