Towards a Better Climate Change Mythology Series

Jan 5, 2021 - Feb 23, 2021

A Deeper Reading of Talmud Ta’anit

1-hr sessions on Tuesdays at 12pm EST (9am PST/ 7pm IST) – 1/5, 1/12, 1/19, 1/26, 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, and 2/23

Explore Jewish theological responses to climate change in this 8-part learning series with Rabbi Yedidya Sinclair.

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The year 2020 was largely defined by the acute crisis of COVID-19 and the U.S. presidential election. With the New Year upon us, the coming inauguration of a new president, and the arrival of Tu B’Shvat, now is the time to look anew at our Jewish texts and our approach to the climate crisis. As our planetary systems continue to destabilize, how can we access the deep sources of wisdom in our Jewish tradition to tap into the power of this moment and make a lasting change?

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The guiding ideas of the course are:

  • The depth and scope of the climate crisis calls us to respond not only with government policy, political activism and technology change, but also with deeper wisdom.
  • Within Jewish tradition, Talmud Ta’anit is a remarkably rich and largely untapped vein of wisdom on responding to a climatic crisis.
  • In Ta’anit, as in our contemporary reality, a climate crisis ramifies into many other areas. Some of these areas are: our interconnectedness with the natural world; faith and prayer; food and distribution of critical natural resources; how human economies metabolize these resources into well-being by creating exploitation, wealth, poverty, and greed; the role of exceptional individuals in the face of crisis; and the potential for national destruction, rebirth and hope.  
  • Literary approaches to the Talmud, including those pioneered by Rav Kook, Levinas and Rav Shagar, can help us access this text’s profound thinking.      

The aims of the course are:

  • Learn Talmud together.
  • Deepen our knowledge of Jewish wisdom as a resource for responding to climatic crisis.
  • Empower rabbis, Jewish educators, and professionals to share these ideas and sources with their communities so as to offer them renewed hope.  

During Sukkot, Rabbi Yedidya Sinclair offered a 4-part series on tractate Ta’anit in the Talmud as a resource for coping with climatic crisis. Due to popular demand, Rabbi Sinclair is now offering a new 8-part series of 1 hour sessions on Ta’anit from the New Year until Purim.

This series is a continuing education opportunity for rabbis, Jewish educators, and professionals to build a deeper understanding of what the Talmudic response to the climate crisis might be, and develop resources to share these ideas with their communities. It will be a master class; though some terms will be defined, participants should be familiar with Talmudic study prior to joining. Participants can access the 4 sessions of the Sukkot series here.

We are offering tiered payment options for this program at $72, $180, $360, and $500. No one will be turned away for lack of funds, donate what you are able! Providing a relevant Jewish response to climate change requires resources, so please pay at the highest tier at which you and your organization are able. All payments to this program are tax-deductible.

register here