Rabbi's Message: Volume 25, No. 10: May 2008 - Iyar 5768


Volume 25, No. 10: May 2008 - Iyar 5768

Subject: Rabbi's Message: May 2008 - Iyar 5768: The Earth is God's and the Fullness Thereof

Psalm 24: The earth is God's, and all that fills it; the world, and those who dwell in it. For God has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers.

But then Genesis 1:26 says, " ... God said, ... let them (humans) have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."

April 22 was Earth Day. I heard many speaking about conservation suggesting that each of us reduce our energy consumption and the truth is, if we were all careful all of the time we could probably reduce our consumption significantly. But the truth is, people may do it for an hour, a day, a week. But eventually we slip back to average. The mathematics are simple. The most we can all give in the long term is 100%. At best we can hope for 110% for a week or two but it will eventually be offset by a 90% week.

Most of us are creatures of habit and as creatures of habit, if we are going to save the planet we need to do it by promoting solutions that will allow us to conserve without having to change our behavior. I offer the following suggestions, but the common thing about all: Do them once and the effect is long term and cumulative.

Cars: The oil cartel was broken for a while with prices dropping to under $10 per barrel when autos doubled their MPGs in the late 70's. Start buying hybrids or other cars that use less fuel.

Replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents. They provide the same light while using about 1/3 the energy.

Older appliances need to be replaced, but especially refrigerators. I was shocked that my electric bill dropped by 25% when I recently purchased a new refrigerator.

Midrash Rabbah (Gen. 9:2) says: ... we learn that God, went on creating worlds and destroying them until God created this world, and then God said: This world pleases Me; those worlds did not please Me. But God continues (Eccl. Rabbah 7:20), "Behold My works, how beautiful and commendable they are! All that I have created, for your sake I created it. Pay heed that you do not corrupt and destroy My universe; for if you corrupt it there is no one to repair it after you.


Joshua L. Segal

Go Back to the Betenu Home Page