Do we have any right to exploit the environment for our own needs and survival? What responsibility do we have to the world around us? What virtue and blessing is there in the fact that humans “dominate” over nature, as we read in this week’s Torah portion?
Once a child, who would become a famous Rebbe and sage, was rebuked for destroying a single leaf of our sacred universe. How much more so the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms.
The prevalent mood today is fear and uncertainty due to our volatile world. But as we enter a new year and begin reading the Torah anew – and are reminded about the genesis of the world and the proactive role of the human race – we are empowered to be leaders, not victims; to revisit and renew our responsibility to perfect the world in which we live. For how we establish ourselves on Shabbat Bereishit, that’s how it will go for us all year long.
This sermon makes use of much humor, inspirational examples and stories. And it focuses on today’s environmental issues, animal rights and our responsibilities to the Planet Earth.