Today marks the Siyyum (conclusion) of reading Tractate Taanit of the Talmud! Our new Co-Director, Tiferet Nashman, is engaging in the global Daf Yomi learning cycle, reading one page of Talmud per day. Here’s a glimpse into how teachings from the Talmud can inform our mission to develop a community of Shomrei Adamah, protectors of the earth.
The Rabbis teach that a person who lives at a time of collective disaster (in the case on Taanit 11 a famine) and decides to live in a profligate way because they anticipate dying the next day, is described as a beinoni, or middling, person. This is not because they lack faith in G!d to save them from the famine. It is because they separate themselves from the community. In a time of great hardship, they see themselves as disconnected from the collective suffering and are pulled to satisfy their personal cravings, without considering how to act in service of the whole community.
We are living in a time of collective environmental disaster. As we face the climate crisis, how can we find hope? How can we see our futures as interconnected with those of all other humans, near and far, presently alive and of generations to come?