MARATHON

Jewish Community Center

Opening Doors to Spirituality, Social Consciousness, and Community A Friendly Egalitarian Conservative Congregation

Shabbat Eikev

Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25
Candle Lighting time 7:46 PM

 

No matter what deniers may claim, climate change is real. You don’t have to go to Alaska to see the glaciers recede to prove this point. Because of climate change New York City has been reclassified as reported in the New York Times. “New York City, after years of being considered a humid continental climate, now sits within the humid subtropical climate zone. The classification requires that summers average above 72 degrees Fahrenheit — which New York’s have had since 1927 — and for winter months to stay above 27 degrees Fahrenheit, on average. The city has met that requirement for the last five years, despite the occasional cold snap. And the winters are only getting warmer.” (Sultry Nights and Magnolia Trees: New York City Is Now Subtropical)

 

 This week’s Torah portion Ekev includes the second paragraph of the Sh’ma which teaches us that our behavior impacts the environment. This paragraph instructs us that abiding by God’s commandments guarantees reward and disobeying them incurs God’s punishment. “If you carefully heed my commandments… I shall grant your lands rain in the season…that you make gather your grain wine and oil. I shall grant grass in your fields for your cattle that you may eat your fill. Take care lest your mind tempt you to rebel by worshiping other gods…Adonai stop the flow of the sky. There will be no rain. The earth will not grant is produce you will quickly perish from the good land that Adonai grants you. (Deuteronomy 11: 13-17)

 

 After rejecting the theology that divine reward and punishment flow directly from our actions because our experience teaches us that sometimes the wicked flourish and the righteous suffer, Judith Plaskow explains how this prayer remains relevant and important to our lives in light of the recent change of New York’s classification as a subtropical climate zone.

 

 “But it is not necessary to read this paragraph of the Shema as a literal statement about divine reward and punishment. In a world whose survival depends partly on human capacity to value creation and care for it wisely, it is possible to interpret the passage more naturalistic claim. If we are able to develop an ecological consciousness, we treat the earth with respect, if we are aware that we are embedded in a great web of life which God is the ultimate source and sustainer, then the earth will bear fruit for us in the rain will come in the season. But if we believe we can trample on or transcend the constraints of nature, if we forget the sacredness of all things and make idols of our own wealth and power, ‘the earth will not grant is produce,’ both we and our world may perish. Siddur Birkat Shalom expresses these ideas in a loving meditation on the Sh’ma: Israel, your covenant with God is made of choices: holiness or profanity, life or destruction; you can never keep from choosing. If you set yourself to love God with everything you have… God’s gifts will be yours: a vital earth, it seas and continents moving slowly in their own way; the rain and sun and snow and clouds forming and changing…. But if you forget God and choose to instead to fashion gods of your own…, you may lose everything you have…. This blue-green earth, so beautiful, so solitary, is as fragile as you are and as precious. Beware lest giving way to access your risk too much….’” (The Sh’ma and Its Blessings, edited by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, page 110)

 

 We definitely need to choose wisely for our sake, for children sake, for Earth’s sake, and for God’s sake.
 

This week's zoom opportunities

 

Mincha/ Ma'ariv services today through Tuesday 7 PM

Tonight through Thursday night at 7 PM (The corrected webpage, meeting ID, and passcode)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83368895841?pwd=QWlzdzlCZjVIWUZiMUhHNGdjeGpKQT09

 

Meeting ID: 833 6889 5841

Passcode: 504838

 

Dial by your location

        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

       

Meeting ID: 833 6889 5841

Passcode: 504838

 

Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Time: Aug 7, 2020 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87198310803?pwd=cEFSa2R1SUdUWWRpNlBpT1VKYkpydz09\

 

Meeting ID: 871 9831 0803

Passcode: 020585

 

Dial by your location

        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 871 9831 0803

Passcode: 020585

 

 

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