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Sheltering under the sycamore tree (Daf Yomi Pesachim 53)

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“Both this time and that time are one period.”

We are faced with the serious consequences of climate change as evidenced by extreme weather patterns that include spring-like temperatures in the US Northeast followed by severe snowstorms. Australia and California experienced devastating fires over the past year that surpassed anything they have experienced in the past. There are linkages between deforestation and pandemics – as wild animals lose their natural habitats they become more readily in contact with human beings and transmit disease. And there are new diseases that are being carried by wild animals that could potentially contribute to the next pandemic.

The last days’ discussion in the Daf Yomi readings of the Sabbatical Year is a demonstration of how our ancestors respected the earth and a reminder that we must do the same. The extension of a year of rest for the land so that it can rejuvenate and rediscover its quiet soul mirrors the weekly Sabbath that provides a day of rest for religious Jews.........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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