Monday, April 6, 2015

The Omer Challenge - Omer Day 3

by Jeff Mazur

The Jewish calendar is largely agricultural, and beginning on the second day of Passover, we count the fifty days following the barley harvest, until Shavuot.  The Omer (“sheaf”) was a harvest-offering brought to the Temple. This ancient spring ritual of counting the Omer provides an opportunity to reflect on our relationship to the earth and the rhythms of the Jewish calendar. It creates a link between Passover, commemorating the Exodus, and Shavuot, commemorating the giving of Torah.

According to Rabbi Noson Weisz “Exodus and the Redemption were events that required no input on our parts -- we passively experienced being freed from spiritual bondage just as we experienced our physical release from Egyptian slavery -- and a Divinely implanted spirituality was sufficient to provide the underpinnings of these events. On the other hand, the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai required our active cooperation and participation.”

The Omer Challenge is a call for active cooperation and participation in the measuring of our carbon foot print. The Omer cCallenge is a chance to reflect on our environmental impacts and acknowledge the modern day plague of global warming, by counting for the climate.  Our work towards redemption is in the mindfulness of how we utilize the resources around us.
Earth Deeds invites the Jewish community to measure our carbon emissions that result from our travel during this forty-nine day period and to pay the social cost of those emissions forward.
It's as simple as:

1) Use this carbon calculator – (JCAN Calculator) developed by Earth Deeds, to calculate your carbon emissions and their social cost.

2) Pay those emissions forward to support the project of your choice. (Two local Boston projects are the Jewish Climate Action Network and Beantown Jewish Gardens.) 

As you progress through the Omer period, consider these questions:

What are you learning about your travel patterns and impact? 

What actions might you take as a result of what you learn?

How is what you are learning impacting your understanding of bondage, freedom, redemption, and revelation?

Today is the third day of the Omer.
Today is the third day of the journey from bondage to revelation.

Jeff works for Earth Deeds, a company that provides ways to onset local solutions to global warming, and is a teacher/naturalist for Mass Audubon. A certified Torah Trek guide, Jeff also cofounded the Green Planet Afterschool club at JCDS and Into the Woods, an afterschool program as Lexington Montessori School

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