A TEMPLE Beth Israel (TBI) retreat in the Yarra Ranges next month will hear from US Rabbi Ed Rosenthal, an environmentalist, who heads Tikkun HaYam (Repair the Sea), an organisation dedicated to preserving marine life and the oceans.
Rabbi Rosenthal, a scuba diver, will be returning to Australia and New Zealand for the first time since 1991, when he completed his four years at Congregation Beth Shalom in Auckland.
After presenting at Limmud New Zealand later this month, Rabbi Rosenthal will serve as scholar-in-residence at the Yarra Valley Shabbaton, a Shabbat to Remember, to be convened by TBI’s Rabbi Gary Robuck, on September 2. Rabbi Rosenthal’s visit to Melbourne will include presentations to students and teachers of the King David School and to the Council of Christians and Jews AGM.
Rabbi Rosenthal founded Tikkun HaYam last year, noting the organisation “combined my love of Judaism with my passion for the ocean”.
The US rabbi described Tikkun HaYam as “the only Jewish environmental organisation that focuses solely on water”.
“The mission of Tikkun HaYam is to share the spiritual wonders of water and the sea from a Jewish perspective, promote interfaith harmony and cooperation, and raise awareness and encourage action to address the many threats facing the aquatic environment.
“While nature and the environment are very much a part of Judaism, when it comes to water, it’s generally viewed as an agent of purification or metaphor.
“However, like the ocean itself, to see the wonders, it’s necessary to go beneath the surface. The learning we’ll be doing at the Shabbat to Remember will be a deep dive into the waters of kabbalah and more.”
Urging the community to attend TBI’s Shabbat to Remember, Rabbi Rosenthal said he hopes his message about marine life will inspire. “I promise you’ll never look at the ocean the same again.”
To register for Shabbat to Remember, go to: https://tbi.shulcloud.com/event/AShabbatToRemember