Register for 1-4 parts of the "Climate, Torah, Activism" webinar and we'll send you information needed to connect on the webinar and, following the webinar, to view the video recording.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow will be leading and weaving a four-part webinar series on four aspects of healing the deeply wounded climate that is already flooding, burning, droughting, and diseasing many patches of our planet, and threatens far worse to human civilization in every region.
The webinar series will run on four Tuesday evenings – May 7, 14, 21, and 28, from 7 to 9 pm, Eastern Time via Zoom which allows connection via videoconferencing or by telephone. It will especially address how to draw on religious and spiritual traditions, practices, and symbols to awaken into vigorous action the “sleepy giant” of our religious communities.
Why am I doing this? There is the out-there reason and the in-here reason.
“Out there”: The human race is faced with the most momentous crisis in our history as a species – the climate crisis, brought on us by the behavior we have allowed from a group of Corporate Carbon Pharaohs and their governmental enablers. In the Hebrew Bible is encoded a treasury of the spiritual experience long ago of an indigenous people, whose shepherds and farmers lived close to the Earth and cared for it.
“In here”: I have been working on the climate crisis for almost 20 years. Many people have led or taken part in activist sit-ins, marches, lobbies; a smaller number of people have explored how the religious traditions speak to the question. Very few have done both. I am one of the few people who has both explored how the deep teachings of Torah and the festivals might apply to the climate crisis, and been an activist in planning and organizing actions that do this.
And “out there” and “in here” intertwine as I watch my youngest grandchild play on the beach, and discover that the beach I played on as a child, on the Chesapeake Bay, has been drowned and disappeared by the rising waves from melted Arctic ice. As I wonder whether the whole Atlantic shore that she is loving will be poisoned as was the Gulf of Mexico, by some future oil spill from an off-shore oil well newly licensed by a pro-Carbon US government. As I wail the Book of Lamentations on Tisha B’Av in memory of the sacred Temples destroyed in Jerusalem long ago by rapacious empires, and wonder who will bewail the sacred Temple of the Earth itself, if its web of life is shattered by the rapacious Corporate Carbon Pharaohs.
Today we can draw on that Earth-grounded spiritual treasury from ancient times, and of course transform it – the most urgent and creative midrash we have ever needed – in prayer, theology, activism, and hands-on change.
The Jewish mystics taught that the Creation of the world unfolded in four stages: God’s sheer Intention to create; Intellectual and Artistic creativity; emotional Interconnection; and actual Physicality.
This webinar series will, in four evenings, explore how these Four Worlds can provide a pattern for human beings to undertake fiercely urgent transformational work to heal our common home.
- Direct prayerful experience of the Earth (e.g. going outside to hear the Trees’ prayer as part of our own prayer service - May 7);
- Biblical theology of Earth (e.g. the earthy meanings of the stories and practices of Eden, manna, Pharaoh’s plagues, Shabbat, the Sabbatical Year - May 14);
- Public ceremonies and other forms of activism that unite spirituality, eco-sanity, and social justice (May 21);
- Hands-on healing action (e.g. organizing solar co-ops - May 28).
Can’t make it on Tuesday evening at 7-9PM? We’ll record the webinar and make the link available to registrants to watch at your convenience.Shalom, Arthur