Dear Rebbeim & Hazzanim --
I’ve never seen a clearer example of the reality & accuracy of the 2d paragraph of the Sh’ma than the fiery destruction of Fort McMurray -- the Tar Sands town in Alberta, Canada.
Dear chevra --
I’ve never seen a clearer example of the reality & accuracy of the traditional 2d paragraph of the Sh’ma than the fiery destruction of Fort McMurray -- the Tar Sands town in Alberta, Canada.
Those who worshipped as their god the profits they pursued from burning even the dirtiest fossil fuels -- and insisted on piping and burning the Tar Sands oil despite the danger its pipeline would pose both to the regions it traversed and to the Earth as a whole -- found that global scorching came home with a vengeance.
As the Torah reminds us, when a Pharaoh brings plagues upon the world, even -- especially! -- the least powerful among us suffer.
Perhaps this fire will bring fuller attention to the possibility of observing Tisha B' Av by focusing on the destruction of Temple Earth.
If you think your congregation might respond to that midrashic approach to Tisha B'Av, please see
<https://theshalomcenter.org/tisha-bav-temple-earth> for “Eicha for the Earth” by Rabbi Tamara Cohen.
And in a very different mode, see "The Last Tisha B'Av: A Tale of New Temples" at
a tale by Rabbi Phyllis Berman and me.
Meanwhile, there are a number of texts I have used for Tikkun Leyl Shavuot that are very powerful: See <https://theshalomcenter.org/treasury/111>.
You will find there midrash on the economic, ethnic-immigrant, and gender/ sexual implications of Megillat Ruth; Muriel Rukeyser’s great poem “Akiba”; a poetic translation of the Chariot vision; the paradoxical Anokhi’s in "The Thunder: Perfect Mind” (a Nag Hammadi text in Coptic that is neither Christian now "Gnostic" and might be a non-canonical Jewish text).
Shalom, salaam, peace, Earth!--- Arthur