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Next in Odyssey Networks’ video series of the Faith at the Summit climate change conference in Copenhagen:

And another: Christianity and Climate Change:

And one more: Day 7 at the Summit, with Desmond Tutu

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Two more COP15 videos from Odyssey Networks: Day’s 5 and 6 in Copenhagen. Enjoy! (If you can’t see a video player on your screen, click on the image below. Otherwise, visit Odyssey Networks’ videos page.

From Day 6, “The Bishop of Canterbury

and Day 5’s “Finding Hope”:


Hi Everyone,

The following is the third in the video series Odyssey Networks has released on the Faith at the Summit conference, paralleling COP15 in Copenhagen. We’ll continue to post their videos as the conference continues to progress. Enjoy, and keep praying for some serious action on climate change!

(If you can’t see the video from this page, click on the image below).

JCI’s Dr. Michael Kagan and other faith leaders offer spiritual advice to President Obama, who will be joining COP15 in Copenhagen- Day 2 at the conference, by Odyssey Networks.



By Dr. Michael Kagan, co-founder of Jewish Climate Initiative

Dear Friends,

I am in Copenhagen as a representative of Judaism at a satellite conference taking place around the COP15.  The conference is organized by the Global Peace Initiative of Women.  My first reaction when initially invited was that I am of the wrong gender but I was reassured that it is only organized by women but it is a unisex event.  So here I am with am amazing group of spiritual practitioners from religions and countries from around the world. I feel truly blessed to be here.

The entire town has been transformed into a stage for this world-shaping, critical gathering of world leaders.  Everywhere there are posters welcoming the arrival of the 54,000 people that have arrived specially for this gathering.  The most powerful posters were at the airport – the entire corridor from passport control to baggage was lined with images of the world’s political leaders looking 15 years older and the caption “Why didn’t I do more when I had the opportunity?”

Today’s first session of our group that numbers about 60 people, was an introduction and then a discussion about why we are here and what we want to get out of this week’s event.  My fellow participants are monk and nuns and swamis and reverends and ministers and sheikhs and rabbis (two of us) with a particular interest and practice in meditation and the quest for oneness.

I want to relate an insight that I had concerning the core of the problem that we are facing.  It is directly related to the Ya’acov and Esav and which I shared in answer to the question of what has gone wrong.

If Esav represents earth energies (adom – redness, hunter, know of nature, masculine) then Ya’acov represents heaven or spirit (dweller in tents, feminine, alchemy, seeker of truth).  The brothers are not talking to each other, in fact they are at war with each other, they are distant from each other, they cannot communication with each other. This is the broken ladder, the ladder that reaches from earth to heaven.  This brokenness is a cause of the lack of knowledge of how to properly walk this earth.  There is a disconnect between the way of the spirit – the Shechinah – and the way we utilize the resources of the earth.  Israel is the ladder. Israel are the ones that struggle in this quest, Israel are the ones that try to be straight with the Divine, Israel are the ones that are to raise up the songs of creation to the Creator. We are all potentially Israel. We must fix the ladder and do our job.  The time is short and the work is great and the master is demanding.

In Peace

Michael

A BBC report on some of the events earlier this month that took place at the celebration of religions and conservation awareness.  It includes an exclusive interview with Dr. Michael Kagan, co-founder of the Jewish Climate Initiative.”

To Listen to the BBC Report, Click Here

And some photos from the event:


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


By Rabbi Yedidya Sinclair

Last week’s conference on world religions and climate change sponsored by the UN and ARC was an extraordinary event. You can read about it here, here and here. The gathering together of religious leaders and environmental heroes was unprecedented. So was the strong acknowledgement of the world’s religions’ critical role in confronting climate change, from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.

(And so, for that matter, was my sitting next to his wife at dinner last Monday night and giving her a virtual tour of Israel on the cover of a box of Elite chocolates from the Ben Gurion airport gift shop. But that’s a story for another blog.)
Windsor Castle ARC 002
One of my favorite moments came when I was nearly stoned by the organizers (in a very polite and English way) for reckless and irresponsible davening.  They had asked me in advance to give a short prayer at the end of one of the sessions. I had thought hard about what to offer. I don’t believe in making up new-fangled prayers, but wanted to do something that would resonate across the plethora of spiritual traditions present.

Eventually I remembered the talk that R. Dov Berkowitz gave at the Vayehi Or conference in Jerusalem back in April. R. Dov argued that for 3000 years and more, the Land of Israel has stood poised between the desert and the availability of water. With no great river running through the land we have no choice but to turn to Divine Providence for rainfall, fertility and blessing. In 2009, with encroaching drought and desertification, many other countries are in this position (One of the African delegates at Windsor pointed out that 10 month old babies in his country have never seen rain.) Today the whole world is the Holy Land. Except perhaps for England…

So I got up at the Windsor conference, quoted R. Berkowitz’s idea in his name and announced my intention therefore to read the traditional Jewish prayer for rain said on Shemini Atzeret, with kavvanah not just for the Land of Israel but for the whole Earth. The Conference chair clutched his head in alarm. For this was moments before we were due to process through the streets of Windsor to the Castle, in our ceremonial religious gladrags behind banners and a marching band. It had poured with rain all night but now the sun was peeping through heavy grey clouds. And here was I, literally asking God to rain on the parade.

Undeterred, I read the simple but powerful words: ”

For you are God who makes the wind to blow and the rain to fall.
For a blessing, not for a curse.
For life and not for death.
For plenty and not for scarcity.

Then I sang the Vorker niggun that accompanies the prayer in many Israeli shuls and the other Jews present joined in. Delegates from drought-wracked Asian and African countries said they joined in silently with the prayer.  Before concluding, I added “and let’s hope it stays fine here for another half an hour.”

We trooped out into the street, resplendent in our sky blue caftans and saris, saffron and orange turbans, austere black canonicals and burgundy tunics. The Jewish Renewal crew did us proud, draped in their rainbow-colored  tallitot. The press snapped happily, tourists gawped with delight and killjoy clouds gathered menacingly overhead.  Over the moat and drawbridge, through the hulking Norman portcullis of Windsor Castle beneath the Disneyesque towers and turrets (no fairy tale, I’m sure, for would-be invaders 900 years ago) and in through the massive oak doors of the State Apartments.

Scarcely was the last robe and mitre safely inside when it began to rain. This ensured me a certain Honi Ha’ma’agel-like fame for the rest of the conference. The UK head of the World Wildlife Fund admonished me that I really should have asked for 45 minutes leeway, just to be on the safe side.

Of course, it doesn’t take a miracle for rain to fall on England in November. But it does seem like a miracle that such a group came together to pray, act and speak out for wise and responsible steps to avert climate change and ecological crisis. It seems like a miracle that a thoroughly secular outfit like the UN recognized their indispensable role. It seems like a miracle that just now, when the world’s need is greatest, religions are waking up as one to their ancient teachings on conserving the Earth and their this-moment imperative to act on them. Let us join in the miracle and pray and act together.

Sign the Pledge: www,JewishClimateCampaign.org