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Topic: New York Ride

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Finding a Spiritual Home

By Rabbi Ezra Weinberg, New York Ride Co-Chair To all you seekers of spiritual community out there, I have one piece of advice. Do not limit your search to only traditional religious institutions. Do support your local synagogue, but also be aware that spiritual community comes in many forms. The Hazon community has become one of my spiritual homes. For me, the term “spirituality” refers to when the different pieces of one’s life start to tell a coherent story that inspires action. The backbone of spiritual experience occurs when seemingly disconnected parts of my life begin to feel interconnected—what I like to call the “connecting of the dots;” when coincidence becomes impossible to ignore. This is only one limited explanation for a widely used elusive concept, but this “connecting of the dots” experience happens to define my relationship with the Hazon community, including how I first got involved. (more…)

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Why Jewish Environmentalism

What is Jewish environmentalism? 1. The beginnings of a Jewish environmental ethic emerge out of Bereishit, – Genesis – through the two creation stories, which set up models of our relationship as human beings with the rest of creation, and which obligate us to tend and to protect the world. 2. Our agricultural roots, celebrated on holidays and in sacred texts, are intended to connect us to the land. 3. The cycles of the Jewish year are grounded in the natural world and our connection to it 4. Shabbat – stopping and resting on the Sabbath – teaches that there are higher values than production and consumption. Resting on Shabbat – one day in seven – lies at the heart of a healthy relationship with oneself, one’s friends and one’s family, and the wider world. 5. The biblical concept of shmitta – having the land rest on its seventh year – provides an equivalent model of rest for the land itself. 6. The biblical concept of peah – leaving the corner of the field unharvested for the poor to pick themselves – connects ecological issues with human values: our obligation to see that people live free of hunger and that […]

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Compare and Contrast

Dear All, This year, Hazon’s New York Jewish Environmental Bike Ride ends late Monday afternoon, and just two days later, Rosh Hashanah begins. The Hazon 10th Anniversary NY Ride will end at Riverside Park at 79th Street on Monday, September 6th at 3 PM with a group ride up Riverside Drive to the The JCC in Manhattan at 76th and Amsterdam. In addition to dancing and singing at the JCC, the Adamah Fellows will have a farm stand inside of the JCC with fresh produce, pickles and dairy products. The closing ceremony will start at 4 PM on the roof of the JCC. The NY Ride is one of Hazon’s largest fundraisers for the year, allowing us to continue our important work. Please consider sponsoring a Rider this year in celebration of Hazon’s 10th anniversary. The close conjunction in time prompted me to think about them in relation to each other… This year they’re about the same length in time. They’re both marathons, of sorts. They both involve pushing ourselves: even if you ride a bike – or go to shul on Shabbat – you don’t normally ride 120+ miles in two days, or spend 10+ hours in shul. (And […]

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2005 New York Ride Keynote Address

 by Ariana Silverman This summer, my uncle, a middle-aged working father of three, volunteered to be a Little League Umpire. As many of you know, the difficulty of this particular job is not the physical exertion, or the danger of being confronted by a player, or even that there are that many pitches that are too close-to-call, but having to face the genuine wrath of a parent who feels that his or her child, or even his or her child’s team, has been wronged. During one particularly heated game, my uncle’s calls were repeatedly followed by yelling from an offended mother in the stands. Trying to keep his cool, when, in the middle of the forth inning, she asked for the count, he obligingly held up his hands . My uncle was stunned by her temporary silence, and then it came: “Ump, you’re gonna hafta yell-out the count-I don’t have my glasses on!” Tonight I invite you to join me in a conversation about seeing. Our Torah portion this Shabbat begins with the command to see: Re’eh. Re’eh Anochi Notein L’ifneicheim HaYom Bracha U’klalah. See, this day I set before you blessing and curse (Deuteronomy 11:26). This theme is not […]

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