The Most Important Word of the 21st Century

“As civilization advances, the sense of wonder declines. Such decline is an alarming symptom of our state of mind. We will not perish for want of information; but only for want of appreciation.”
-Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Man is Not Alone (1951)

Has anyone else noticed how zombie-esque people look when they’re walking down the street texting, pokeymonning or just immersed in their screens? What happened to the days when going for a walk included keeping your head up, meeting neighbours, noticing the beauty of the world  and consequently cultivating a sense of appreciation for it? As Rabbi Heschel noted, the advancement of civilization would not leave us with a lack of information (thank you, Google) but with a longing and lack of appreciation and that that lack would be what would make us perish.

One could argue that the mass disconnection from nature (and the widespread Nature-Defecit Disorder) is the underlying cause of the current environmental crisis.  Human nature is programmed to care for the things that we know and love. In other words, in order to take responsibility for our incredible home (aka Planet Earth) we need to be aware of it, appreciate it, recognize that we are a part of it and  only then, can we care for it.

Which brings me to WOW. Wow is the word we say when we experience something awe-some, something that pulls at our heart-strings, that makes us realize the world is really cool and that we should stand in awe and wonder of this place. Jewish tradition teaches us the importance of approaching the world with a sense of radical awe and amazement and we are standing on the shoulders of our ancestors to bring that awareness to the community. We’re here to bring the WOW out in you, to give the community hands-on experiences that nurture their sense of awe and wonder for the exquisite state of things so that ultimately, they will be inspired to take more responsibility to get us out of the environmental mess the lack of appreciation has gotten us into.

We often talk about how the best way to measure the impact of our work would be to quantify the number of WOW’s we hear during our programs and events. We feel blessed to be doing this work and are excited to bring more WOW to you and your families in the coming years.

Our next MAJOR WOW event will be Taking Root 2016. We hope you will join us for an evening of nourishing noshes and inspiring storytelling, where we will hear from dynamic speakers how, amidst the busy energy of our lives, wonder can ground, connect, and inspire us.

Proceeds from Taking Root directly support Shoresh’s transformative work connecting people, land, and spirit through meaningful WOW! moments.


All are welcome! If you are looking to bring a little more awe, wonder, and WOW! into your world, this event is for you.


Canvas, 1381 Castlefield Avenue


Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 6:30pm


For more information, contact Sabrina Malach at 416-805-8382 or

© 2018 Shoresh.