I found this wonderful article on Shabbat and the environment that I wanted to share with you this week. As you know, this month we are focusing on issues related to the environment. We hope that you will join us in helping to create a sustainable future and invite you to share with us what you are doing personally to reduce your carbon footprint.
“Today we live in a society which is constantly doing without sufficient regard to being, and at the same time, transforming the natural world without taking time to reflect on the long-term consequences. A New York Times Magazine article commented about lifestyles in the United States,” “A nation of remarkably productive, often well-paid workers… are becoming increasingly reluctant to pause from their labors and refresh their souls.”
“The society that rests and reflects the least is the same society that extracts and consumes the most. This mastery of the earth without sufficient contemplation of its consequences has extinct species, altered the climate, and polluted the air.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, comprised of executives committed to sustainability from major international corporations, notes that global consumption levels and patterns are primarily driven by three factors: rapid global population growth, the rise in global affluence and associated consumption, “a culture of ‘consumerism’ among higher income groups, who account for the greatest per capita share of global consumption.” The report continues that “global consumption is putting unsustainable and increasing stress on the Earth’s ecosystems. 60% of the Earth’s ecosystem services have been degraded in the past 50 years. Natural resource consumption is expected to rise to 170% of the Earth’s bio-capacity by 2040.”
Shabbat offers great potential to reduce consumption and thereby benefit the natural world. The act of shutting off a computer or car for a day contains environmental meaning far beyond the energy saved from not using these devices for one day. The deeper significance of the act centers on the reorientation that can occur from outward focus to inward focus, from reading from screens to reading from scrolls and books, from communicating via technology to communicating face to face.
Shabbat can create holy space in our lives and inner peace in ourselves to reveal the sanctity that can get hidden by the stress of day-to-day life. By moving us from incessant doing to the pleasure of being present with the Source of all existence, Shabbat can transform our lives. We will then become more aware of our surroundings, and take better care of G-d’s creation. Let us connect to this potential for renewal and rejuvenation and help bring tikkun olam, repair of the world, to ourselves — and our planet”. https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/shabbat-and-environmental-awareness/
This material was produced as part of the Jewcology project. Jewcology.com is a new web portal for the global Jewish environmental community. Thanks to the ROI community for their generous support, which made the Jewcology project possible.
This year Chanukah begins on November 28th at sundown and ends at sundown on December 6th. We are hoping to hold a small Chanukah celebration on Sunday, December 5th at 5:30pm at Nidhe Israel synagogue. I say “hoping” because the COVID situation in Barbados will determine our ability to proceed.
We had a wonderful lecture this past Sunday presented by Keith and Nancy Atkinson on their fascinating research into their family history. If you were unable to attend here is a link to their presentation. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w4o9rjc8EV9rpcv3X_YvYBKitQTR3qVn/view?usp=sharing
Motel Truss- November 04
Leon Bernstein- November 11
(If I have missed anyone’s Yahrzeit, please email me at BJC@jewishbarbados.org)
This Friday night’s services will be on ZOOM at 6:30pm. We will dedicate the evening to the environment. We invite you to share with us what you are doing personally to reduce your carbon footprint. Please click this link to join. If you need a pass code, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please click this link for a copy of our siddur.
President, Barbados Jewish Community