Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Statement in support of USH application for GreenFaith Certification


Our congregation is excited to apply for participation in the Greenfaith Certification Program.  This program will help us as a congregation to express our commitment to the protection of our environment -- a commitment we share with our neighbors of many different faiths, and that has deep roots in our own Jewish tradition.

One of the central themes of Jewish spirituality is our gratitude for and appreciation of the natural world.  This theme is expressed repeatedly in the Psalms, which encourage us to take nothing in the natural world for granted.  One of the most poignant passages in the Midrash imagines God taking Adam on a tour of the beauty of the natural world and warning him, “If you destroy it, there will be no one to come after you to repair it.”  (Kohelet Rabbah 9)   The Talmud’s famous story of an old man planting a carob tree whose fruit he knows he will never see  reminds us that Jewish tradition has always prioritized making thoughtful decisions to ensure that future generations will experience the blessings that we have experienced.  (Babylonian Talmud, Taanit 23a)

Our congregation strives to incorporate environmental consciousness in all of our activities and decisions, from our decisions about school and office supplies, to our building maintenance and renovation decisions, to our use of energy and natural resources.  The Greenfaith Certification Program will help us to be ever more thoughtful about our community’s environmental impact and the messages we transmit about the environment to children and adults.

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