I have not been sleeping well lately and, as a result, find myself mentally ill-prepared for the kind of critical and creative thinking this blog requires. And I have nothing already written on hand that I can adapt for use here. I remembered that today is Good Friday, and while I’m not Christian myself, chances are good many of my readers are, so I thought maybe I could write something Easter-related. But I couldn’t think of anything. I hopped on my favorite search engine, hoping to find something interesting I could at least recommend to you, but I didn’t see anything inspiring.
Then I thought to look up climate change and Passover.
Of course, Passover is not for several weeks, but it’s still, roughly speaking, seasonal. Easter and Passover are certainly connected. And, as it turned out, “climate change and Passover” makes a really good search term if you want to find some interesting reading. So, under the joint influence of my extreme sleepiness and my sense of duty to my readers, here are a couple of recommended links.
Passover: The Four Signs of Climate Change Action
This article uses the story of Moses as an illustration of how spiritual awakening can fuel action and then frames climate change specifically in terms of the themes of the holiday. Modern poetry and Biblical quotes give the short piece great emotional punch.
Signing on to an energy covenant as a family and as an institution becomes an ethical imperative and a sacred task. Passover shows the way — the reawakening of the Earth to new life, the reawakening of our spirit to new possibilities, the transformative recognition of self-empowerment — for we stand on holy ground…and our name is called.
The Miracles of Passover and Climate Change
This article treats the Exodus story as an allegory of our current environmental crisis. It is more literalist, less mystical, than the previous piece, but, interestingly, it refers to our dependence on fossil fuel as a form of slavery.
These past few days, I have been looking through the Passover Haggadah, preparing to lead my Passover Seder. As I sat there reading over some of the miracles of Passover, a slight shiver ran down my back. I have never looked at the ten plagues through the perspective of climate change. Could the Exodus be not just a celebration of our freedom from slavery, but a warning against our consumption of our resources?
The people move into the streets. Chanting and singing as they go, carrying a portable large-sized globe of Planet Earth, waving the Palm branches, they walk toward a Pyramid of Power of our own day: perhaps an office of Exxon or BP, or a coal-fired power station, or a bank that invests in a coal company that is destroying the mountains of West Virginia, or a religious or academic or governmental institution which they could call on to end its investments in Big Carbon and invest in renewable energy companies instead.
In modern Jewish social justice ideology, tikkun ‘olam (Repairing the World) has become a critical concept in inspiring people to act. It is the hope that the redemption of humanity and Creation can come through the human choices that we all make in our everyday lives. In the last part of the Passover Seder we look towards that ongoing redemptive process with hope and determination.