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Vayehi Or: Values and Vision in Energy and Climate Change

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Jewish Climate Initiative Co-Founder, Dr. Michael Kagan analyzes the question: Can the Jewish People help humanity face climate change, its biggest challenge yet?

Published in: Spiritual, Technology, Education
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Vayehi Or: Values and Vision in Energy and Climate Change

  1. 1. ברכתה חמה <ul><li>Blessed are You, Lord our God, Majesty of the universe, who re-enacts the work of Creation. </li></ul><ul><li>בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם עֹשֵׂה מַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית </li></ul><ul><li>Blessed are You, Lord our God, Majesty of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion </li></ul><ul><li>בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם , שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לִזְמַן הַזֶּה </li></ul>
  2. 2. 28 Years Ago <ul><li>World Population : </li></ul><ul><li>4.529 billion (1981) </li></ul><ul><li>6.75 billion (2009) </li></ul><ul><li>8.52 billion (predicted 2037-next birkat hahama) </li></ul><ul><li>AIDS is first identified. AIDS is now a pansemic.  In 2007, an estimated 33.2 million people lived with the disease worldwide, and it killed an estimated 2.1 million people, including 330,000 children </li></ul>
  3. 3. 28 Years Ago <ul><li>BM introduces its first personal computer, running the Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS). 100,000 orders were taken by Christmas. </li></ul><ul><li>Moore's Law </li></ul><ul><li>1981- 29,000 transistors per chip </li></ul><ul><li>2009- 2 billion transistors per chip </li></ul>
  4. 4. 28 Years Ago <ul><li>Cell phones: </li></ul><ul><li>1981: The first commercial launch of cellular telecoms in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden </li></ul><ul><li>Today: There are 4 billion cell phone users in the world </li></ul>
  5. 5. 28 Years Ago <ul><li>“ Imagine, if you will, sitting down to your morning coffee, turning on your home computer to see the day’s newspaper. Well, it’s not as far-fetched as it may seem.” </li></ul><ul><li>Televised on San Fransisco's KRON Network, in 1981 </li></ul>
  6. 6. 28 Years Ago <ul><li>Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat is assassinated by Islamic extremists during a military parade in Cairo (Oct. 6). </li></ul><ul><li>President Reagan wounded by gunman, with press secretary and two law-enforcement officers (March 30). </li></ul><ul><li>Pope John Paul II wounded by gunman (May 14). </li></ul><ul><li>Movies: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Chariots of Fire, On Golden Pond, Reds, Atlantic City </li></ul>
  7. 7. 28 Years Ago <ul><li>1981 Jun 7 Israeli F-16 fighter-bombers destroyed a nuclear power plant in Iraq at Osirak, Iraq, </li></ul><ul><li>Ilan Ramon (d.2003) flew the last of the 8 planes that bombed the reactor. </li></ul><ul><li>1981 Jun The First World Gathering of Holocaust survivors took place in Israel. It was organized by Auschwitz survivor, Ernest Michel.   </li></ul><ul><li>1981 Oct 16 Israeli war hero Moshe Dayan died in Tel Aviv at age 66.        </li></ul>
  8. 8. Where were you 28 years ago?
  9. 9. Question
  10. 10. If all the Jews in the World would stop driving cars and using electricity what effect would this have on Global Warming?
  11. 11. Answer
  12. 12. <ul><li>NONE </li></ul><ul><li>At least not directly </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>So as a people, </li></ul><ul><li>What can we do to help alleviate the situation? </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>The Jewish People’s contribution to the world is based on three pillars: </li></ul><ul><li>Ingenuity </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Values (Torah) </li></ul><ul><li>And these three combined can lead to CORRECT ACTION </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>A Modern Midrash – </li></ul><ul><li>When Noah was told that the global climate was going to radically change he built an ark. He managed to save his family and samples of the flora and fauna. </li></ul><ul><li>But our sages have criticized Noah for not having done enough to save the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Today our family is the global family – how much can we do to saved it? </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>י    … וַהֲרִיקֹתִי לָכֶם בְּרָכָה , עַד - בְּלִי - דָי . </li></ul><ul><li>10  …and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. </li></ul><ul><li>יט    כִּי - הִנֵּה הַיּוֹם בָּא , בֹּעֵר כַּתַּנּוּר .. . </li></ul><ul><li>19  For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven… </li></ul><ul><li>כ    וְזָרְחָה לָכֶם יִרְאֵי שְׁמִי , שֶׁמֶשׁ צְדָקָה , וּמַרְפֵּא , בִּכְנָפֶיהָ … </li></ul><ul><li>20  But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings… </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>כד   וְהֵשִׁיב לֵב - אָבוֹת עַל - בָּנִים , וְלֵב בָּנִים עַל - אֲבוֹתָם --  </li></ul><ul><li>24  And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Ecology – Relationships in the HOME </li></ul><ul><li>בית </li></ul><ul><li>Environmentalism – Wellbeing of the HOUSE </li></ul>
  19. 19. Halachic ruling forbids strawberries Ynet 04.02.09 Rabbi Yehuda Amichai, who heads the institute, told Ynet that &quot;it used to be enough to take the green leaves off of the strawberry and wash it with soap, but today the bugs stick to the dots on the fruit, and emerge even after a good washing&quot;. He said strawberries that had been sprayed with pesticide were not safe either. &quot;In the end they also have insects that won't come off, even if there are less,&quot; he said.
  20. 20. G20 Summit London April 2, 2009 <ul><li>What President Obama said: </li></ul><ul><li>Together we must put aside the bubble and bust economy that has stood in the way of sustained growth. </li></ul><ul><li>What President Obama should have said: </li></ul><ul><li>Together we must put aside the bubble and bust economy that has stood in the way of sustainable growth. </li></ul>
  21. 21. What can Judaism and the Jewish People Contribute? <ul><li>Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Political Activism </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Jewish Wisdom </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shabbat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mezuzah </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kashrut </li></ul></ul>
  22. 23. <ul><li>Increasing destruction of the natural environment and climate change are probably the biggest global challenges to human development and to the welfare of all life on earth. It is a time when the major religions of the world must take a lead - sharing their wisdom, their insights and their hopes. </li></ul>
  23. 27. <ul><li>From where do we </li></ul><ul><li>learn that we are </li></ul><ul><li>obliged to care </li></ul><ul><li>for the planet? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Love thy neighbor </li></ul><ul><li>as thy self.” </li></ul><ul><li>Rabbi Israel Lau </li></ul><ul><li>former Chief Rabbi of Israel </li></ul>

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