According to traditional Jewish belief, the Sabbath has its origin in God’s divine command to observe the seventh day as a day of rest and sanctification.
Jewish communities around the world marked the "new year for the trees" last week with tree planting ceremonies and seders that celebrate Israel's seven species (wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates if you are keeping track!).
I consider myself an environmentalist. I write about the earth, think about the earth, care about the earth. I wrote my rabbinical thesis partly on Judaism and the environment, and I helped found en environmental advocacy committee in my synagogue.
This year, I have the pleasure of studying the Book of Exodus together with the lay-led Hebrew Bible study group at Temple Beth Or in Raleigh, North Carolina, where I serve as senior rabbi.