My New Year Challenge

bereishit2It’s been far too long since I last blogged at the CommonTree. So long in fact that I have considered stopping altogether and accepting this is just another blog that ended before reaching it’s potential. However, I found renewed inspiration today during the festival of Simchat Torah, at the end of the period of New Year festivals, in which Jews celebrate the completion of reading the Torah and then immediately start again at the beginning.  There have been times in my life when I have found more time to study Torah and to invest effort in attending Shiurim (learning sessions) on a regular basis. But over the years I have found it increasingly difficult to fit this in alongside family responsibilities, holding down a job and being involved in sustainability projects (such as leading Deep Time Walks, and my work with JECO).  This morning whilst pondering this I came up with the challenge to myself to find a Climate Change/Sustainability/ Environmental angle in every single weekly Torah reading (parshah), and post these on my blog. Through this I can simultaneously connect with the Torah and pursue an issue which, unfortunately, is becoming ever more urgent and relevant.  Hopefully this project will also prove to be inspiring to others. Recognising this is going to be quite a challenge, I will allow myself to cheat a little by linking to post written by others, such as Canfei Nesharim,  Jewcology or similar organisation, and also by inviting others to participate in this project as guest bloggers. I aim to make this project manageable and one that I can maintain for the full year thus demonstrating that there are messages about our obligation to protect our natural environment throughout the Torah, and not just in a couple of isolated sections.burning planet

It is now Tuesday evening, and we will read the first Parshah, Bereishit – the story of creation, this coming Shabbat. Fortunately there are many environmental lessons emerging from this story so I am confident I can come up with something meaningful to write before Friday.




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