Passover and the Global
Is the Environmental Protection Agency a modern-day pharaoh? Sweep eco-chameitz from your life with these simple steps.
Why is this blight different from all other blights?
For other blights we can be concerned only for ourselves, why for this blight must we be concerned for others?
Because the climate crisis affects everyone on planet Earth, since the atmosphere does not respect the political boundaries that nations erect between themselves.
For other blights, we might not really know what's happening, why for this blight are we so sure?
Because there is a scientific consensus that human action is leading to global climate temperatures increasing - can we muster up the will to do something about it?
For other blights, the problem might seem too hard or too distant for us to do anything about it; why for this blight is it possible for us to make a difference?
Because each one of us contributes daily to the crisis - each one of us uses energy, each one of us causes carbon dioxide to be released into the air. And therefore each one of us can daily make a positive change to address the crisis.
For other blights, it can seem impossible to get the attention of politicians. How can we do so for this blight?
Because already, key members of Congress are taking bold leadership to address the global climate crisis. And we need to actively support their efforts. Though the federal government is not moving quickly enough, there's an inspiring move by local and state leaders to put necessary changes into place even while the national government plods along. We must call for and support these initiatives as well.
Avadim Haiyinu - Once We Were Slaves: Passover as a Call for Environmental Justice:
Later in our seder we read, "In every generation, we are obliged to regard ourselves as though we ourselves had actually gone out from Egypt." We are to remember the experience of being slaves, of being disenfranchised, of being the ones with the least power, with the least resources, with the least people looking out for our welfare and our well-being. We are to remember the experience of being valued only for what we can do, what we can do for others, rather than for our inherent value as human beings.
Environmental degradation in the United States most severely harms those people who are already the ones with the least power. All one needs to do is think of the aftermath to Hurricane Katrina. Or look at asthma rates in lower-income neighborhoods, or exposure rates to toxic waste. Similarly, the global climate crisis most severely harms people in those countries that also have the least.
More from Beliefnet