Keep justice flowing
IoES Advisory Board Member and Water Policy instructor Dr. Mark Gold writes on environment and social justice in the Jewish community.
Dr. Gold wrote:
I’ve always been struck by the fact that so many local environmental leaders are Jewish (Andy Lipkis, Felicia Marcus, H. David Nahai, Adi Liberman, Fran Diamond, Madelyn Glickfeld, the late Dorothy Green, Sara Wan, David Beckman, Laurie David and so many more). Clearly, social action in the Jewish community means a lot more than tikkun olam and Tu B’Shevat.
I’ve been moved to tears in a synagogue very few times in my life: the b’nai mitzvah of my son and of my wife come to mind. A rabbi’s sermon certainly never made me cry — until Rabbi Joel Simonds’ social justice sermon on Yom Kippur.
Simonds spoke on Reform Judaism’s 200-year roots in social action and the need to fight for justice in an unjust world. He quoted from the prophet Amos: “Let justice well up like water, righteousness flow like a mighty stream.” Then Simonds wondered: If the prophet saw the devastation of our ecosystems and the decimation of our streams and rivers, would he still have made this analogy? He asked simply: “How can we claim that our righteousness flow like a mighty stream when our streams have been flowing to create destruction, or our streams have dried up?”
Because my life has been devoted to water issues for many years, the rabbi’s words resonated with me strongly. His powerful use of the water analogy and connecting it to the impact of climate change on water were extraordinary.
To read the full entry on JewishJournal.com click here.
Published: Monday, October 11, 2010