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Mishpatim: Shmita, By Rabbi Dr. Bradley Shavit Artson

Mishpatim: Shmita, By Rabbi Dr. Bradley Shavit Artson

January 26th, 2022

"Our mastery and possession of creatures and objects is always provisional and limited by the broader guidelines of our creatureliness." This parashah is known in Hebrew as Sefer Ha-Brit (the Book of the Covenant). It contains the first body of laws[...]

Yitro: The Ten Commandments As A Guide To A Sustainable Society, By Dr. Jeremy Benstein

Yitro: The Ten Commandments As A Guide To A Sustainable Society, By Dr. Jeremy Benstein

January 19th, 2022

"What does it take to build a society that will long endure on the land?"  The highlight of this week's parasha, the Decalogue, begins with God's self-identification as having brought Israel "out of the house of bondage" and launches directly into[...]

Beshalach: The Knowledge Of Water, Fire And Clouds By Rabbi Gila Caine

Beshalach: The Knowledge Of Water, Fire And Clouds By Rabbi Gila Caine

January 12th, 2022

"This is the strongest lesson of shmita, that the non-human world around and within us is filled with its own intelligence, and its own Torah." This week’s Torah portion kicks off with our ancestors leaving Mitzrayim (the Biblical Egypt, the place[...]

Hakhel Newsletter January 2022

Hakhel Newsletter January 2022

January 11th, 2022

Dear Hakhel Communities, This week’s Torah portion, Beshalach, is the scene of many incredible miracles that have captured the imagination of countless generations: the splitting of the Red Sea to allow the Israelites to escape Egypt; the manna that rained down[...]

Bo: In Times Of Darkness, Can We Share Our Light? By Yali Szulanski

Bo: In Times Of Darkness, Can We Share Our Light? By Yali Szulanski

January 6th, 2022

"The plague of darkness evokes imagery of desperation, fear, and of dark times. It is the plague, perhaps, that most echoes the time we live in now." Parashat Bo occurs in anticipation of Bne’i Israel’s exodus from Egypt. Here, the last[...]

A few words from Hazon’s new Global Ambassador, Nigel Savage

A few words from Hazon’s new Global Ambassador, Nigel Savage

December 30th, 2021

Please make a gift to Hazon today. Every dollar received by the end of the year will be directly invested into our growing programs and deepening our impact. ​December 30, 2021 | 26 Tevet 5782 | Jerusalem   Dear All, For affording me this sabbatical,[...]

Vaera: What Gives Me Hope? By Dr. Barak Gale

Vaera: What Gives Me Hope? By Dr. Barak Gale

December 29th, 2021

"Shmita offers a “release” from this harsh legacy, whispering to us: Aspire to this time when you no longer harden your heart."   Vaera recounts the Ten Plagues and the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart.  I am often asked in my climate presentations[...]

Shemot: Building A Society That Rejects Decadence And Oppression, By Rabbi Binyamin Zimmerman

Shemot: Building A Society That Rejects Decadence And Oppression, By Rabbi Binyamin Zimmerman

December 23rd, 2021

Shemitah and jubilee ensure that Israeli society will be protective of the weak, combating wage gaps and building a redeemed economy. If it worked with the Exodus, it could work now.   Parashat Shemot begins the second book of the Torah, Exodus,[...]

Parashat Vayechi: E Pluribus Unum? by Judry Subar

Parashat Vayechi: E Pluribus Unum? by Judry Subar

December 16th, 2021

We must temper using our own resources to satisfy our individual human desires in recognition of our responsibility to preserve our Earth for the benefit of humanity. Mortality sets the scene for the concluding chapters of Genesis. Vayechi, the last portion[...]

Hakhel Newsletter December 2021

Hakhel Newsletter December 2021

December 13th, 2021

Dear Hakhel Communities, What do you believe will come of you in the days and years to come? What about your loved ones and community? Why is this your vision? These are just some of the questions evoked in this week’s[...]

Parashat Vayigash: Feeding the World, By Shoshana Michael Zucker

Parashat Vayigash: Feeding the World, By Shoshana Michael Zucker

December 3rd, 2021

"From both the story of Joseph and the practice of Shmita, we learn that the earth, if respected, is capable of producing adequate food. Hunger is a human-caused problem that humans can solve." Parashat Vayigash is set during the famine that[...]

Miketz: Learning from Joseph's Mistakes, By Rabbi David Seidenberg

Miketz: Learning from Joseph's Mistakes, By Rabbi David Seidenberg

December 2nd, 2021

"Therein lies a basic lesson of Shmita: You can’t deprive other people or the land of their freedom in order to preserve your own." The Shabbat of Chanukah is here. When we left Joseph last week, he was in the dungeon.[...]

2021 Hazon Gift Guide

2021 Hazon Gift Guide

November 29th, 2021

As we approach Chanukah, it’s natural for our thoughts to turn towards family, unity, tradition and food. Hazon is a strong proponent of “buying less stuff” which means that when we are faced with an influx of gift guides and[...]

Vayeshev: Equal Social Dignity, By Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin

Vayeshev: Equal Social Dignity, By Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin

November 24th, 2021

"So whether you wear a coat of many colors or a simple shift when you glean, shmita is a reminder that we are all the same: temporary tenants wholly dependent on the gifts of this God-given world." “Now Israel loved Joseph[...]

Vayishlach: Wrestling Awaits even in the Shmita Year, By Bruce Spierer

Vayishlach: Wrestling Awaits even in the Shmita Year, By Bruce Spierer

November 17th, 2021

"When you finally slow down for the shmita year, don’t be surprised if there is confrontation waiting for you to wrestle with. If you see it through, you might find new blessings in your life." In Parashat Vayishlach, Jacob returns to[...]

COP26: Hope & Despair

COP26: Hope & Despair

November 16th, 2021

Friends, I recently returned from COP26 – the United Nations Conference on Climate Change – and it was an unforgettable experience. The number of people, events, issues, spaces...it was truly one of the most complex, multifaceted, and profound events I’ve ever[...]

Vayetze: “Set In The Land” Mutzav Artza - Jacob's Ladder Through a Geocentric Lens, by Dr. Allen Katz

Vayetze: “Set In The Land” Mutzav Artza - Jacob's Ladder Through a Geocentric Lens, by Dr. Allen Katz

November 10th, 2021

"In order to effectively combat climate change and live more sustainably, our attitude must be mutzav artza, firmly grounded in the land." This week's Torah portion of Vayetze offers us a rare opportunity to glimpse into the mind of a tzaddik, Jacob[...]

Hakhel Newsletter November 2021

Hakhel Newsletter November 2021

November 9th, 2021

Dear Hakhel Communities, This week, we will read in the Torah portion Vayeitzei about Jacob’s Ladder. As Jacob is running away from Esau, he stops to rest and has a powerful dream about a ladder, with angels ascending and descending. What[...]

Parashat Toldot: Releasing Our Attachment To Dominance, By Akiko Yonekawa

Parashat Toldot: Releasing Our Attachment To Dominance, By Akiko Yonekawa

November 3rd, 2021

The shmita year asks us to release our attachment to the dominance of land, to live in the utter immediacy of the season, to sustain ourselves with whatever the earth provides when we step away for a moment. In short,[...]

Greetings from Glasgow, Scotland

Greetings from Glasgow, Scotland

November 1st, 2021

Friends, I just arrived in Glasgow, Scotland for the United Nations Climate Change Conference known as COP26, happening today through Nov. 12. Many have said that this gathering of world leaders may be our last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change.[...]

Chayei Sarah: Chesed in Jewish Tradition by Dr. Richard H. Schwartz

Chayei Sarah: Chesed in Jewish Tradition by Dr. Richard H. Schwartz

October 27th, 2021

One test of kindness is doing positive things, even if not asked, or doing more than is asked, something that Rivkah did in abundance, showing how hesed was such a central part of her character. A main focus of parshat Chayei[...]

Moments of Truth: Climate, Antisemitism, & Justice

Moments of Truth: Climate, Antisemitism, & Justice

October 26th, 2021

Friends, We arrive at a moment of truth, and we must push through. Join us for one final effort, calling for transformative climate investments in emerging federal legislation, on our Day of Action this Thursday, October 28th. We pray that our elected[...]

Vayera: Training in Hospitality, by Dr. Irene Lancaster

Vayera: Training in Hospitality, by Dr. Irene Lancaster

October 18th, 2021

During the Covid epidemic, hospitality has increased. There are many tales of people contacting their neighbours – and even people they didn’t know - in order to help with shopping and other services. This emphasis on loving kindness throughout the[...]

Climate Action NOW with Hazon & Dayenu

Climate Action NOW with Hazon & Dayenu

October 17th, 2021

Friends, Hazon works alongside many strong partners across the Jewish world and beyond, and moving forward we are honored to feature our allies as guest writers for our newsletter. To start off this partnership series, Rabbi Jennie Rosenn introduces Dayenu and the critically important role[...]

Lech-Lecha: Treating Both the Land and the Stranger with Empathy and Kindness, by Rabbi David Seidenberg

Lech-Lecha: Treating Both the Land and the Stranger with Empathy and Kindness, by Rabbi David Seidenberg

October 14th, 2021

Shmita is about freedom and justice for people, not just rest and regeneration for the land. One of the spookiest stories in the whole Torah is found in Lech Lecha. It’s called the brit bein habetarim, the covenant between the halves. The[...]

Hakhel Newsletter October 2021

Hakhel Newsletter October 2021

October 11th, 2021

What's Inside: Community Spotlight | Sharing Resources | Monthly Quote   Dear Hakhel Communities, Last week (October 9), we read the famous Torah portion that tells the story of Noah (Noach), the righteous man who built an ark that preserved animals and humans[...]

Noach: Finding Our Rest, Building Our Ark, by Rabbi Robin Damsky

Noach: Finding Our Rest, Building Our Ark, by Rabbi Robin Damsky

October 7th, 2021

"Rest is not idle, rather active and creative.  I refuel myself through my meditation practice, The winter rest fuels the earth, plants and animals for spring rebirth." “Shabbat Shabbaton” are the words Leviticus 25:4 uses to describe the shmita year –[...]

The Story of Creation

The Story of Creation

October 3rd, 2021

Friends, This past week we read the Creation story twice: once during Simchat Torah then again over Shabbat, the first of the new annual Torah reading cycle, known as Shabbat Breishit. I love the early chapters of the book of Genesis,[...]

Bereishit: Revisioning our Relationship to Creation, by Natan Margalit

Bereishit: Revisioning our Relationship to Creation, by Natan Margalit

September 30th, 2021

"Our job in this life is, and has always been, to recognize our kinship with the world, to connect with those sparks as partners, and together with them serve God." Parshat Bresheit tells the creation story of the earth and the[...]

V'zot HaBracha: Flourishing in the Shmita Year, by Elyssa Hurwitz

V'zot HaBracha: Flourishing in the Shmita Year, by Elyssa Hurwitz

September 23rd, 2021

In the same vein that Moshe blessed the tribes of Israel in their own ways at the end of his journey and the next step of theirs, I bless each of us that we lean into our natural strengths[...]

Abramson Vegan Breadmaker Challah

Abramson Vegan Breadmaker Challah

September 20th, 2021

Makes one large or two small loaves. Ingredients 2 tablespoons dried yeast (two packages) ½ cup sugar 2 cups luke warm water 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed, aka flaxseed meal (NOT whole flaxseeds)* 2 tablespoons canola oil 4 – 5 cups King[...]

Ha’azinu: God Calls on the Earth to Hear God’s Words, by Amalia Haas

Ha’azinu: God Calls on the Earth to Hear God’s Words, by Amalia Haas

September 17th, 2021

If we have the courage to open our hearts to the Mussar of Shmita we see that all lives emanate equally from the One. They have the same claim to nurturance and protection and well-being as do we, to resources[...]

Vayelech: Release Yourselves, The Shmita Year Has Arrived, by Miriam Midlarsky Lichtenfeld

Vayelech: Release Yourselves, The Shmita Year Has Arrived, by Miriam Midlarsky Lichtenfeld

September 9th, 2021

"In choosing a way to mark Shmita, inspired by the Hakhel ceremony in this week’s parsha, we will be honoring our heritage and rededicating ourselves to the earth, the environment, and the Torah." In our parsha, Vayelech, Moses instructs the priests[...]

Nitzavim: The Great Equalizer, by Sarah Zell Young

Nitzavim: The Great Equalizer, by Sarah Zell Young

September 2nd, 2021

Shmita is not only about the seventh year, shmita is a cycle preceded by 6 other years. It invites us to inventory ourselves, our choices and our middos, character traits, in the previous cycle and envision how we want to[...]

Beginning a new chapter, together

Beginning a new chapter, together

September 2nd, 2021

Friends,  I step into the Hazon CEO role with deep gratitude for everything that has been built over the past 21 years, and with great appreciation for the amazing staff, boards, and supporters of Hazon, Isabella Freedman, and Pearlstone. Together, we[...]

Hakhel Newsletter September 2021

Hakhel Newsletter September 2021

August 31st, 2021

What's Inside: Sharing Resources | In the Spotlight Shalom,  About 4 months ago Israel announced it had “overcame Covid”, opened everything and life returned to normal, to how it used to be before 2020.  A few other countries were about to initiate similar[...]

An Ending, and Two Beginnings (7 of 7)

An Ending, and Two Beginnings (7 of 7)

August 26th, 2021

Thursday, August 26, 2021 | 18 Elul 5781   Nigel: Hi! Jakir: Shalom!  You did it!  I’m not sure how you pulled it off, but you made it to the holy land! N: Yep. I’m now in bidud, the word the Israelis use for “quarantine”[...]

Ki Tavo: Remembering History, by Ruth Messinger

Ki Tavo: Remembering History, by Ruth Messinger

August 26th, 2021

"This is a core principal of shmita to let the fields rest and allow the hungry to eat from them. In a country where there is gross food insecurity, in a world where people are suffering environmental calamities and dangerous[...]

Why does shmita matter? (6 of 7)

Why does shmita matter? (6 of 7)

August 20th, 2021

Friday, August 20, 2021 | 12 Elul 5781   Dear All, I admit that I am baffled by Jeopardy!, and why people care about it. (What’s wrong with University Challenge?) But Jeopardy does remind us to ask this: what questions does shmita come to[...]

Ki Teitzei: Letting the Mother Go, by Aharon Ariel Lavi

Ki Teitzei: Letting the Mother Go, by Aharon Ariel Lavi

August 19th, 2021

 With one hand we acquire the eggs or the fledglings (or the crops) but with the other we let the mother go (or leave something for the poor to live on). Recognizing the fact that using natural resources for our[...]