Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of a Holy Temple that had been desecrated by a cruel and arrogant empire.
Today, on the last day of Hanukkah, the Paris Climate Agreement takes the first step toward rededicating, reconsecrating, Temple Earth -- the Sacred Temple not only of all human cultures but all life-forms.
Our common home, our universal Temple, has been and still is being desecrated by the cruel and arrogant corporations of Big Oil, Big Coal, and Big Unnatural Gas. Yet -- just as with the Hanukkah story – the Earth and its human earthlings are sprouting Maccabees to relight the Great Menorah and reconsecrate our sacred Temple Earth. This generation, Maccabees of Nonviolent Action.
- We have created huge rallies and smaller religious prayer vigils.
- We have created grass-roots lobbies and election campaigns.
- We have created books and letters to the editor.
- We have created songs and videos.
- We have urged and then celebrated the Pope’s decision to speak out.
- We have initiated, encouraged, and then celebrated the Rabbinic Letter on the Climate Crisis, signed by 425 Rabbis.
- We have been arrested in the US Capitol and at the White House fence.
Now – because of all those actions by Nonviolent Maccabees -- in Paris the world’s governments have taken the first hesitant step on a pathway to shared and sustainable abundance. Toward reconsecrating Temple Earth in eco-social justice.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the Paris agreement is that every five years from now, the governments will reconvene to assess how effectively their actions have been in moving us away from climate chaos and into a rededicated Temple Earth, and to take additional steps.
That is the crucial aspect because it recognizes that Paris is only the beginning.
Now it is up to us.
In American society, religious and spiritual communities have only begun to bring moral energy to bear in this crisis, as they did fifty years ago in the crisis over civil rights. The “official” Jewish community -- which was deeply involved fifty years ago -- has lagged behind many other religious groupings in defining this as the supernal issue facing Jews and Judaism, as well as every other human culture.
The Shalom Center began to work on the climate crisis fourteen years ago, and for the last seven years we have been and remain the ONLY natonwide Jewish organization that has placed the climate crisis at the top of its agenda. This we are doing in three ways:
(1) Continuing to raise consciousnessin the Jewish and multireligious communities about the Biblical teachings of humanity’s sacred commitment to heal the sacred Earth -- and some uniquely Biblical wisdoms about how to do that healing (like the Sabbatical/ Shmita Year). Just one among many ways of making thse connections was our initiating the Rabbinic Letter on the Climate Crisis, signed by 425 Rabbis. While continuing this work, now we must also move from consciousness to action:
(2) Challenging the top-down irresponsible power of the Carbon Pharaohs.
We are joining in, helping plan, and organizing Jewish and multreligious support for the "Democracy Spring" campaign of massive civil disobedience in April. "Democracy Spring" will demand Congressional passage of ways to stop the purchase of our elections and our Congress by the hyperwealthy -- hgh on the list, the Carbon Pharaohs.
And we are building religious efforts to subject the Exxon Corporation and other Carbon Pharaohs to legal accountability for their lethal lies – “Exxon lied, people died, WE decide.”
(3) Empowering grass-roots alternatives: Creating solar-energy neighborhood coops -- the “future” renewable-energy society in the present, by stirring synagogues, churches, mosques, and other grass-roots community groups to organize solar-energy neighborhood coops. These grass-roots alternatives will actually make chemical and physical changes in what is happening to the Earth, as well as bringing togethe stronger face-to-face communities committed to eco-social justice.We have already brought together the first discussion group on planning this campaign. I will be writing you more about it.
Because we are the only national Jewish organization for which the Climate Crisis is top priority in addressing both the Jewish and multireligious communities, we need your help.
We welcome you to join in the Green Menorah Covenant (See the symbol above. To expand it, click on the title of this article.) It both celebrates the ancient Tree of Light that was the sacred Menorah in the Holy Temple long ago, and unites us in pursuing the reconsecration of Temple Earth today. Now, in the wake of Paris, is the most urgent and most fruitful time to light the Green Menorah. We need to light the Light together.
Please join us in this sacred work by clicking on the maroon “Donate” button in the left-hand margin of this page, to donate the money that makes it possible for us to do this work.
Donations to The Shalom Center are tax-deductible. Because the end of the tax-system year is upon us, your donation NOW brings you and The Shalom Center and our Mother Earth the greatest benefit.
Thanks! -- And blessings of the Light that we must now keep lighting to reconsecrate our Temple Earth.