Moshe Givental via Crowdrise
July 27, 2014
BENEFITING: Great March for Climate Action
EVENT DATE: Jul 21, 2014
A number of years ago, one of my dearest teachers, Rabbi Yehoshua Karsh, asked our class why we thought that the first human being was called Adam ("Earthling" in Hebrew). Afterall, names usually signify something special about the one being named, and couldn't any other animal, or plant, just as legitimately be called the Earthling? The questions stumped all of us. Rabbi Krash has a wonderful talent for asking and pointing out things we don't notice but are right under our noses. After some silence, he sighed, and said, "it's because the human being is the only creature on Earth that has capacity to forget that he/she comes from the Adamah ("Earth" in Hebrew).
I have lived with this teaching, and to be honest, mostly ignored this teaching for many years until last summer when at a week long lecture series on Climate Change it was pointed out to me that the rate of species extinction is now so high (due to the destruction of habitats, hunting, as well as the more complex climate change issues) that some consider our era to be the beginning of the 6th global extinction (the 5th one was the one which wiped out the dinosaurs).
My participation in one month of this great March for Climate Change is an attempt to learn more, to open up and build up my heart-mind to make it big enough to do whatever needs to be done, and to be a better resource for others. I am reminded of a piece of advice offered by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel during the era of protests for Civil Rights and against the Vietnam War. He said, "I would say, let them remember that there is a meaning beyond absurdity. Let them be sure that every little deed counts, that every word has power, and that we can do, everyone, our share to redeem the world, in spite of all absurdities, and all frustrations, and all dissapointments!"