shabbat Noach

published on: 16-03-2011

Teva Ivri initiates Shabbat Noach as an annual "Sustainability Shabbat" in Israel Cheshvan 5-6, October 23-24

Teva Ivri initiates Shabbat Noach as an annual "Sustainability Shabbat" in Israel Cheshvan 5-6, October 23-24

Teva Ivri is proud to join Jewish leaders around the world in the observance of Shabbat Noach as a time to raise awareness about environmental challenges and to inspire effective change in Jewish communities.

On Shabbat Noach, Jews traditionally read the Torah portion about the Flood, the Ark, and the covenant of the Rainbow. The parsha relates the story of the Flood, which inundated the world due to the downward spiral of human behavior. We also learn about the actions of Noah, who preserved the diversity of Creation by heeding the divine command to build an Ark. The story ends with the sign of the rainbow in a cloud - the eternal covenant between G-d and humankind, in which we are promised that the earth will not be flooded again.

Today we are witnessing extreme devastation all over the planet. Daily reports of drought, glacial melting, species migration and extinction, and other catastrophes signify an imbalance in the order of Creation. Many of these "natural" disasters are caused directly or indirectly by the indiscriminate actions of humans. Seen through the lens of contemporary global climate change, the warnings and promises given in Parshat Noach are a timely reminder of the imperative to steer humanity in a better direction.

In the days leading up to and including Shabbat Noach, we encourage educators and leaders from all points on the Jewish spectrum to plan programs that encourage the preservation of the web of life, G-d’s Creation. Activities will include lectures, hikes, text studies, children's activities, eco-friendly Kiddushim, divrei Torah, establishment of gardens, energy audits…use your imagination!

Any event initiated by you or your organization for this special Shabbat will be publicized on Teva Ivri's website as part of a guide to Shabbat Noach events. Our activities here in Israel will parallel the "Global Climate Healing Shabbat" called for by Jewish leaders abroad, as well as other global warming-related events planned for October 24, 2009 as part of the international "350" initiative.

We hope that the opportunity to work together as one nation to build a better world will generate new conversations between Jews from different streams – Israeli and Diaspora, religious and secular, young and old. We also hope that the observance of Shabbat Noach will contribute to a unified Jewish response to global climate change, in anticipation of the United Nations Climate Conference scheduled for December, 2009 in Copenhagen.

On Friday, October 23, a central event will take place in Jerusalem - details will be posted here soon.

To register an event or activity in Israel or to find ideas for your community, please contact Einat at 0523754506 or write to info@tevaivri.org.il.

For more information about the observance of Shabbat Noach abroad, click here: http://www.shalomctr.org/node/1517

For more information about the 350 initiative, visit www.350.org. Please note: in addition to Shabbat Noach, 350 will be observed in Israel during Hol Hamoed Sukkot. Contact Gidon for more info: gidonmelmed@gmail.com.