by Katherine Butler
Monday, November 30, 2009
Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay! Or glass, recycled paper, or sustainably-grown wood. Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in the second century, BCE. Many now use the holiday to rededicate themselves to family and the larger issues at hand.
The miracle at the heart of Hanukkah is that one day of olive oil lasted for eight days. The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) asks us to celebrate by considering the ways that we can make our energy sources last. They ask that we use Hanukkah as an opportunity to educate our families, class, or synagogue about energy and global climate change within a Jewish framework.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow asks Americans to celebrate Hanukkah in a way that will bring light to the earth and the human race. Below, he discusses the connection between Hanukkah and the struggle for environmental justice, suggesting ways of celebrating Hanukkah by organizing against global scorching. Rabbi Waskow also makes the excellent point that a green Hanukkah can be applied to all faiths.