Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Canadian Jewish Community Revives Environmental Stewardship

A recent symposium for members of the Jewish community held in Halifax featured keynote speaker Richard Zurawski, a meteorologist and scientist; Stephen King, Halifax’s head of resource management; Daisy Kidston, education programmer with Clean Nova Scotia; and Cantor Ari Isenberg of Halifax’s Shaar Shalom Synagogue to speak on global warming issues, according to an article in the Canadian Jewish News.
Isenberg stressed that Jews must revert back to the respect for the environment noted in several parts of the Torah and practised during the harvest festivals of Sukkot, Shavuot and Pesach.
He said the celebration of Tu b’Shvat, the new year of the trees and agriculture, reminds Jews of the spiritual lesson of the tree – that it’s not merely a plant that produces fruit and shade, but a symbol of life and an upright person.
“Tu b’Shvat reminds us of our responsibility [to the environment], but we have drifted and become abusive to it,” he said.

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