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Letter To The Editor: 21 Washington Rabbis Endorse 1631 for Clean Air and Water


To The Editor:

Our civilization’s flirtation with climate change apocalypse is reminiscent of an ancient Jewish legend:  The children of Israel were terrified when Moses said “Into the Sea! God will divide it for you!”  Moses felt anguish as the Israelites refused. At that moment they heard a splash and saw Nachshon plunge into the sea.

Yes, Washington State may take the plunge, leaving behind tyranny with the  reckless burning of fossil fuels, and crossing over to a freedom characterized by responsibility for God’s world, a basic teaching of all religions at their best.

The harrowing Oct. 8 report of the IPCC makes clear that we are at a critical juncture in history, that everything we hold dear — people, places, civilization, is in jeopardy. Here in Washington our summers’ skies are now cloaked in extremely hazardous smoke from wildfires. This Initiative is exactly the kind of solution that scientists say is paramount to undertake immediately.

I am deeply proud of the thousands of 1631 volunteers, the willingness of clergy to take a stand, including the 21 rabbis in my Jewish faith, who serve in diverse areas of the state, including Spokane, Bellingham, Seattle, Bellevue, Olympia and Vancouver.

As our sage Rabbi Hillel said:  If not now, when?

-Dr Barak Gale



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