[This editor’s note is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 14 – Sustainability and Jewish Peoplehood – published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.]
By Shlomi Ravid
Peoplehood Papers 14 is dedicated to the topic of Peoplehood and Sustainability.
We decided to provide the Siach Network a public platform to grapple with the challenge of sustainability through the Peoplehood lens. With shmita as the framework, authors from different disciplines consider what sustainability means for the Jewish People in the 21st Century. Some take an activist stance and call on us to renew our commitments to renewable energy sources and debt forgiveness to relieve the lives of the most vulnerable amongst us. Others understand sustainability in more spiritual terms, an opportunity to reconnect with the adamah and to remember that we are stewards not masters of the earth. Still others consider the ways in which a focus on environmental issues can be ‘common ground’ to rally around and unite the ever growing disconnect between Jewish communities in Israel and world Jewry. Through their different perspectives, each author reminds us of the essential ingredients which make Jewish peoplehood vibrant – a focus on our collective mission as Jews, a rootedness in a common text, and creative thinking around how to continue to forge the connection between us, even when it feels tenuous.
We sincerely hope that this exchange will inspire a conversation about the integration of our responsibility as Jews to our universe and to our collective mission as a People. We thank our Siach colleagues for their inspiring contributions. We welcome your comments and responses and look forward to continuing the conversation at: www.jpeoplehood.org/blog.