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.
Shabbat Brit Olam has become a national tradition. As of 2010, over 200 communities from all denominations of Judaism observed Shabbat Noah from a Jewish-Environmental perspective, with study groups, lectures, articles in the media, and grassroots action projects.
The annual central event, a lively street festival titled "Before the Flood," takes place in Jerusalem. In 2010, the festival included a parade, an organic market, live music, workshops, and lectures by rabbis and community leaders. To view a video of the festival, click here:
On Shabbat Noach, Jews traditionally read the Torah portion about the Flood, the Ark, and the covenant of the Rainbow. The parasha 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 Parashat Noach are a timely reminder of the imperative to steer humanity in a better direction.