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September 11, 2009
 

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~.-xmiaam| im ta],~l ~&li ~ id. J WiHllt |i~ ~i ill ua~ll~ HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 11, 2009 By Martin Westerman Repentance, prayer and charity: High Holidays for the Earth year, as they Power our modern economies. Of the GhG total, for ex- ample, nearly 70 percent is emitted by just six countries: China (21.5 percent), the U.S. (21 percent), Indonesia(11 percent), Russia (6 percent), India (4.5 percent), and Japan (4.5 percent). And this does not include GhG outputs of these countries' armed forces--their largest single fossil fuel consumers. Together, we have pushed CO2 levels in Earth's atmo- sphere to their highest point in 650,000 years--nearly 390 parts per million (ppm). That's 40 ppm more than the Earth can safely process every year, reports the In- tergovernmentai Panel on Climate Change. Clearly, our genius has created challenges that endanger us all. What are we supposed to do? We know we have committed offenses against Mother Nature knowingly and unknowingly: We are required to ask forgiveness and make amends. Currently, we exhort each other to "save" the Earth. But there are several problems with that: 1. It's too big a challenge to comprehend or manage. We need to define a smaller, clearer purpose, and build it of manageably-sized pieces that we can accomplish. Humans are miracles of creative energy. Since the In- dustrial Revolution dawned 150" years ago, we have de- vised wonderful inventions to improve and lengthen our lives, marveled at our newfound abundance, and thrilled to new possibilities. So during the High Holi- days, writes Rabbi Paul Cohen of Temple Jeremiah, Northfield, Ill., "we must look around at the miracle of creation, and rejoice that we are a part of it." Then we must use that joyous energy "to repair the damage we have caused through mis- takes and intentional acts of transgression. Repen- tance, prayer and charity (teshuvah, tefilah and tze- dakah) temper Judgment's harsh decree." (http://www. templejeremiah.org/pdf/cov/ covL06_09.pdf) In Mother Nature's terms, "Judgment" includes melt- ing glaciers, rising sea levels, weather and economic disas- ters, mass extinctions, tropic desertification and world- wide food and water crises. These are unintended con- sequences from the world's 257 countries polluting the planer's waters, greedily extracting its resources, and pumping 28 billion tons of greenhouse gasses (GhG) into its atmosphere every of dishes and keep kosher at home." A current Beit Hami- drash teacher, Michael M. explains, "While most of the students have demonstrated an interest in the classes in which they participate, I have been especially im- pressed with the seniors. They attend regularly and participate actively in class- room activities and discus- sion. They appear less con- cerned with the social aspect of the program, unlike their younger peers, and more focused on the course work." Beit Hamidrash (Hebrew high school) is entering its 16th year. School officials say, "Among students, par- ents and teachers we have truly made a positive impact on Jewish life and Jewish learning in Central Florida." Here are some recent com- ments expressed on the Beit Hamidrash Facebook page: While at Beit Hamidrash recently graduated Talia B. became more familiar with Jewish life and Jewish ritual. Talia said, "After I moved out of my parents house to go to college I bought two sets Answers from 09/4/2009 2. It sets up messianic expectations, which run against the High Holiday spirit, that some white knight or savior will make things right for us, instead of us taking action ourselves. Teshuvah requires us to ask forgiveness, make restitu- tion and change behavior, none of which anyone else can do for us. 3. It assumes Earth can- not "save" itself. In fact, the planet did fine for billions of years before we arrived. It's worse off for our meddling, but should begin bouncing back within 100 years (http:// eatliver.com/i.php?n=1451) o'f our departure--if humans end up going extinct. So in this season of reflec- tion, I suggest that we re- state our cal! to action: "Save Ourselves." Mother Nature isn't the only offended party here; we are offending our- selves, too, with noxious air, deforested land, polluted wa- ters, and endangered species. We cannot ask forgiveness of Mother Nature, but we can of ourselves, and mak- ing restitution to one will satisfy both. With intention (kavanah), we can change our behaviors, and pray that Mother and the Almighty bestow their favor upon us. Saving ourselves involves teshuva and tzedakah--for us, the Earth, and suc- ceeding generations. "Save Ourselves" is clear and im- perative. It consists of two parts: acting individually, and acting communally. Each can be broken into tangible, attainable goals, with each attainment rip- pling toward tikkun olam (healing the world). On the individual level, we have seen and heard what each of us can do since the first Earth Day in 1970. Lists, books, movies, documenta- ries, videos, politicians and personalities have told us what to do with increasing urgency. Items have even ar- rived for free on our doorsteps from local utilities, in the forms of energy- and water- saving equipment to install. On the community level, others appreciate the results of our acfions, and show us that they are meaningful. They provide support, and encouragement to do more. They also provide leverage. It takes a voting block to get a policymaker's attention, and that kind of power is needed to require energy efficiency in our building codes, appli- ances and machinery, protect species, clean our waters, and tax, or cap and trade carbon. The key is to trust. If each of us acts to save ourselves, to increase our own health and the health of our families, we will, in the aggregate, achieve great acts of tzedakah for our communities, the world, and future generations. We showed creative genius getting ourselves into this mess..We're saying our al chayt's now, and gearing up to temper the harsh planetary judgment with intentional healing actions. The clues that we're enjoying "forgive- ness" are already appearing in the skies, earth and water all around us. L'shana tovah'. Martin Westerman teach- es, writes and advises on the business of sustainable living. He is a member of Congregation Kol HaNesh- emcih in Seattle. You can e-mail questions about eco-living, carbon and eco- footprinting, green building, and other sustainable living matters to him at artartart@ seanet.com. Belt Hamidrash students, from left front row, Sloane Mosrie and Moriah Pitcher, and back row, Yael Ben Toy, Elise Brent, Jerica Bornstein and Lauren Krinker touch the lives of many others. Incoming ninth grader Joshua H. said, "Sometimes I go to temple but mainly on the High Holy Days. In regards to Beit Hamidrash I think it i,s an awesome and fun way to learn more about Judaism." Leor A., a graduate from several years back wrote, "I didn't attend all of my high school years, but I took the Cooking Class, Astronomy, IDF Class/Is- raeli Military History, and Israeli Music class. It was one of-the best times of my life. I met people there who changed my life forever. I met someone who I didn't know that later on I would end up dating for a'small, but awesome time three years later. I wish I could have gone throughout my entire high school years." School officials say, "Don't let your teen miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime. Jew- ish learning. Jewish friends. Jewish connectiofls." Beit Hamidrash is a com- munity supplementary He- brew high program for teens in eighth through 12th grade. It's a weekly Monday night program, with a once a month Sunday program, Kaplan @ School program, and more. Hebrew High officials say, "The beauty of Beit Hamidrash is that it involves (and is available for) the entire Jewish teen community." For more information about theprograms ca11407-. 645-5933, ext. 251. PAGE 7A Central Florida Synagogue Service Schedule and Directory Celebration Jewish Congregation (R), Services and Holiday schedules shown at www.JewishCelebration.org; 407-566-9792. Chabad of South Orlando (O), 7504Universal Blvd., Orlando, 407-354- 3660; Shabbat Services Friday 7 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m. Monday and Thursday 8 am. Chabad of the Space & Treasure Coasts (O), 11.90 Highway A1A, Satellite Beach, 321-777-2770. Congregation Ahavas YLsraei/Chabad (O), 708 Lake Howell Rd., Maitland, 407-644-2500; www.chabadorlando.org.; services: Sunday, 9 a.m., Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.; Friday, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 aan.; Family service 4th Friday of the month. Congregation Bet Chaim (R), 426 Lakeport Cove, Casselberry, 407- 830-7211; www.bet-chaim.org; services: Friday, 8 pan.; family service 1st Friday of the month, 7:30 p.m.; 2nd Saturday of the month, 10 aan. at Summerville Assisted Living Facility. Congregation Beth Am (C), 3899 Sand Lake Road, Longwood, 407- 862-3505; Shahbat service, 8:00 p.m. (7 p.m. on Fourth Friday of the month); Saturday: 10 a.m. Congregation Beth El (C), 2185 Meadowlane Ave., West Melbourne, 321-779-0740; Services~ 8 p.m. 1st & 3rd Fridays; 9:30 a.m. 2rid & 4th Saturdays. Congregation Beth Emeth (R), 2205 Blue Sapphire Circle, Orlando, 407-855-0772; services: monthly, 8 p.m. Congregation Beth Sholom (R-C), 315 North 13th St., Leesburg, 352- 326-3692;www.BethSbolomFlorida.org; schedule of services on website. Congregation Beth Shalom (Progressive Conservative), Orange City congregation holds services at Social Halt of.Our Lady of Lakes Church, 1310Maximillian St.,Deltona; 386-804-8283;www.mybethshalom.com; services: Friday,7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. Congregation B'nalTorah (C),403 N.NovaRd.,OrmondBeach, 32174, 386-672-1174; Services Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. Congregation Chabad Lubavitch of Greater Daytona (O), 1079 W. Granada Blvd., ormond Beach, 386-672-9300; Shabbat services Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. Congregation of Reform Judaism (R), 928 Malone Dr., Orlando, 407- 645-0444; Shabbat service, 7 p.m. 1 st Friday; 8 p.m. 2nd and 3rd Fridays; 6 p.m. 4th and 5th Fridays. Saturday: 10 a.m. Congregation Match Chaim (R), P.O. Box 060847, Palm Bay, 32906, 321-768-6722. Congregation Ohev Shalom (C), 5015 GoddardAve., Orlando, 407-298- 4650; Shabbat service, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9 am.; Yunior Cong., 10:00 a.m. Congregation Or Chayim (Rec), Leesburg, 352-326-8745; egrae@hotma tom; services last Friday of each month at 3:30 p.m. at various privat~ residences. Congregation ShalomAleichem (R),3501 OakPointeBlvd.,Kissimmee, 407-935-0064; Shabbat service, 8 p.m., 1 st and 3 rd Fridays of the month. Congregation of Shaarei Yerushalyim (O), 9869 Kilgore Rd., Orlando, 407-928-8972; Services: Monday- Friday, 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., Friday Minim 7:30 p.m.; Kabbalat Shabbat 8 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m. Congregation Sinai (C), Jenkins Auditorium, West Montrose and 7th St, Clermont: Services on second and last Friday of the month at 8 p.m. 352-243-5353. New Jewish Congregation (R), 13563 Country Road 101, Oxford, 352- 748-1800; Shabbat Services every Friday of the Month: 7:30 p.m. Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation/Ohalei Rivka (C), 11200 S. Apopka-Vmeland Rd., Orlando, 40%239-5444; Shabbat sorvice, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m. Temple Beth El (R), 579 N. Nova Rd., Ormond Beach, 386-677-2484. Temple Beth Shalom (R), P.O. Box 031233, Winter Haver~ 813-324-2882. Temple Beth Shalom (C), 40 Wellington Drive, Palm Coast, 386-445- 3006; Shabbat service, 8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. Temple Beth Sholom (C), 5995 N. Wickham Rd. Melbourne, 321-254- 6333; Shabbat Services 6 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m. Temple Beth Shalom (R), 1109 N.E. 8thAve.,Ocala,352-629-3587; service Friday, 8 p.m.; Torah study: Saturday, 10:00 a.m. Temple B'nai Darom (R), 49 Banyan Course, Ocala, 352-624-0380; Friday Services 8 p.m. Temple Israel (C), 50 S. Moss Rd., Winter Springs, 407-647-3055; www. tiflorida.org; services: Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. Temple Israel (R), 7350 Lake Andrew Drive, Melbourne, 321-631-9494. Templelsrad(C), 1'400 S. Penins. ulaAve., Daytona Beach, 386-252-3097; Shabbat service, 8 p.0a.; Saturday: 9 a.m. Temple Israel of DeLand (R), 1001 E. New York Ave., DeLand, 386- 736-1646; Soc!al Hour, 6 p.m.; Shabbat service, 7 p.m. Temple Shalom of Deltona (R/C), 1785 Elkcam Blvd., Deltona, 386- 789-2202; Shabbat service; 7:30 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m. Temple Shir Shalom of Oviedo (R); Services most Fridays. Carillon Elementary School, 3200 Lockwood Blvd., Oviedo (R) Reform (C) Conservative (O) Orthodox (Rec) Reconstruetionist i