Passover Pages of Sinai Temple
Climate Crisis: Climate Blessings at the Seder

The year is 2016. The science is definitive. Our planet is warming up in dangerous ways that threaten life on this planet. Although the Seder isn't a time for politics in the largest sense, the Seder is a time for awareness.

But where in the Seder does climate change fit?

I suggest it may fit towards the beginning of the Seder when we bless the karpas/parsley.

Remember we dip the karpas in salt water to remember the tears of our ancestors. Remember, however, that we also use the karpas/parsley because its greenery reminds us of spring and the rebirth of nature.

Since the climate crisis threatens the certainty of the seasons and the kinds of growth we may expect in the future, how about reflecting on the miracle/beauty of our planet at this very point?

Before dipping the parsley in the salt water....

Invite those present just to hold the green parsley. The leader might then hold up other examples of growing things: maybe different color peppers and two kinds of apples. Then the reader might say words like these:

Every spring for many years we have quickly dipped the karpas/parsley in salt water and carried on into the Seder. This evening we pause for a moment to give real thanks for the way in which planet earth gives us spring, new growth, and foods as varied as this green parsley, peppers, apples, and so much more.

During these times of climate change, we hope to value what we have more than ever before.

May God who has blessed humankind with the gift of creation help us care for our planet. May we renew our sense of wonder as the seasons spring follows winter and flowers, trees, fruits, and vegetables flourish.

May we stand in awe at blue skies and clean water.

May we treasure the delicate balance among the butterfly, trout, and honey bee.

Let the coral reefs sparkle.

Let the polar bear happily float on its ice floe.

Tonight, as we celebrate freedom in the places we call home, we also celebrate the beauty of our largest home.

We give thanks for this blue green planet earth, which is truly home to everything we love in life.