Chapel Newsletter Editorial
C H A P E L N E W S
Healing the Earth in the Middle of Winter
January 17th is “Jewish Arbor Day”, but for many folks, including us here at Carleton, it has evolved into Full-moon Multi-faith Earth-Day Celebration. In ancient times Jewish farmers needed a date from which to calculate the taxes on their fruit trees. Mid-winter-ish was when the sap started rising, so a full moon in that season was chosen. In medieval times the mystics starting thinking beyond earthly tree sap. They imagined an upside down tree with its roots in heaven. The task of humanity is to express so much joy and appreciation of the natural world that a kind of cosmic divine sap would flow from the heavens earthward.
So we’ll do that together, people of all faiths (everyone is invited!) on Friday evening, January 17th. We’ll express our appreciation by serving up all sorts of fruits of trees, and mindfully blessing and tasting each one of them (there’s dinner too). We also invite everyone to come to this relaxed and festive gathering with stories of their evolution in reducing their own carbon footprint, to hear what others are doing and thinking on the topic, and to renew our commitments to tending this earthly garden. As it is taught by our ancient sages, “God led the first humans around the Garden of Eden and said, “Look at my works. See how beautiful they are, how excellent. I created them for you. See to it that you do not spoil or destroy My world, for if you do, there will be no one to repair it after you.” These sentiments were again expressed by Chief Seattle in 1855, in his plea to U.S. President Franklin Pierce, that we not “kidnap the earth from our children.”
Come celebrate together, toast the Jewish festival with non-disposable cups, sing, eat, listen and share. We’ve got to work together on this one!