Parashat Bo

Taking Notice in Our Time

Renewal is possible at every moment.

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There is something beautiful in how our tradition's attention to the natural cycles still impacts us today, how our Jewish practice brings us out of doors to find our connection with God. Rabbi Menachem Frumin of the Israeli town of Tekoa once asked, "How can Jews, who are commanded to develop Yirat Shamayim (fear of Heaven), live in a place where they can't even see the Shamayim(skies)?" 

The commandment of Rosh Chodesh teaches us to continually m'chadesh, renew, our perspectives and relationships, and to embrace chiddush, innovation, as a fundamental value of Jewish being. Our belief in time as a source of newness and opportunity is one of the deep tenets of Judaism that allows for a modern ethos of change like environmentalism to take root in the daily life of Jewish people.

Such an awareness can empower us to make the radical changes that sustainable lifestyles demand. Realizing that Jewish theology does not write off the revelation happening within the cycles of time, we are encouraged to engage and celebrate the changing nature of this world and to find profound and simple ways for us as Jews to serve God and live responsibly.

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Rabbi Shaul D Judelman

Rabbi Shaul David Judelman spent six years in the Bat Ayin Yeshiva Rabbinical program and now teaches at Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo while working on several different environmental initiatives in Jerusalem. He is the founder and coordinator of Simchat Shlomo's Eco-Activist Beit Midrash, a program offering holistic in-depth Torah study around issues of ecology.