15) Ecology


The equilibrium between men, earth, animal and vegetal is remarkable in the bible.All life is an equilibrium between sacrifice and benefit. For the benefit of life one has to sacrifice another life, whether animal or vegetal.1) The equilibrium between men

To benefit from a day of leisure one has to sacrify six days of work. The resting day of the seventh (sabatical) day introduces the equilibrium between work and reflexion. This is not meant to be followed stupidly, the respect of life being more important than the observance of the sabath.

Social laws forbidding robbery, murder and greed are universal today, but were revolutionnary in those days. To be quit of a debt, working for this purpose could not exceed 7 years.

2) The equilibrium between animals

It is forbidden to join two animals from a different species in order to avoid their suffering. Animals have to be fed before one feeds himself. The lamb is not allowed to be boiled in it’s mother’s milk. What a cruelty for the mother of the lamb. Even on the sabath one has to milk the cows.

Laws concerning the ritual slaughtering of animals forbid unnecessary animal suffering. The lemmet has to be without disruption to avoid unnecessary suffering. The air emboly caused by the incision of the carotid artery guaranties an immediate death without suffering.

Animals suffering in order to be consumed are not kosher for example frog legs pulled from living frogs and shellfish boiled while they are still living.

3) The equilibrium between vegetals

Earth has to be left untouched during the sabatical year. Earth needs to be left untouched to regenerate, every agricultor knows that.

  1. The equilibrium of the seasons

The jewish calendar is based on the cycles of the moon. When you know that the tides, the hormonal cycles, mood, even birth are rythmed by the lunar cycle one can easily understand that seasons are closer to that cycles and that the jewish holidays coincide very well with those seasons.

That the year starts after the holidays plus minus in september is something that is of common practice in every school. So the Jewish new year starts plus minus in september. Ten days after new year follows the day of atonement (Yom Kipour or the day of destiny). On that day it is primordial to reconciliate with his ennemy because there is no pardon in ” heaven ” if there is no pardon on earth. It is also a day of rememberance for the death and an occasion to make a moral balance of the passed year.

After the day of atonement the harvest rejoicings can begin with the custom to sleep and to eat under a vegetal roof allowing to see the stars. This is a nice example of the social balance between rich and poor all together in small cabins sharing the same destiny. Call it today pick-nick, barbecue, return to nature. Everybody will understand the importance of that event. It is on that event that palm leaves are waved and that the song hosana is sung every day during eight days. So the christian tradition to situate palm Sunday the day before easter seems very odd, as these palms are blessed for the harvest holidays.

The holiday of Chanukka with it’s 8 candles lit crescendo, every day one more, joins the seasonal traditions of the winter solstice. Romans used to do the same for their holiday of Saturnus. It is logical that one lits candles in the dark winter days. The rabbis introduced Chanukka after the recovery of the second temple with the miracle of the little flask of pure olive oil that remained burning for eight days.

During the month of january at the first full moon following the winter solstice (the 15th of the month chevat) it’s the new year of the vegetals, which shows the first budding of vegetals.

In march, a difficult month after the rigors of the winter and the frequent shortage of food, together with the highest mortality peak of the year sees the holiday of Pourim (the lottery). During that holiday one remembers the wonderfull turnover of fate commemorating the salvage of the Jews from Souse in Persia during the reign of king Assuerus and the Jewish princess Esther daughter of Mardochee (notice the coincidence between the name Esther and the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, ethymologically root of the word ” star “). This festival goes together with disguisements and sending of food presents.

Passover (Pessach), the exodus of Egypt is remembered the 15th day of the month of Nissan (a full moon) by blessing of the first new harvest and by eating unleavened bread. Again a way of creating equality between all layers of society (unleavened bread is called the bread of the poor). But also a way of cleaning all houses of all trace of leavened wheat which is a substrate for insects.

Today we know that insects need supplements of fungi to develop. Bread crumbles are perfect substrates for those fungi (for example Roquefort cheese filled with green penicillium strains growing on small wheat particles in the cheese).

So the great spring cleaning is a way to avoid invasion of houses by insects.

The last holiday of the year is the festival of Chavouoth (weeks) which is celebrated 7 weeks after passover. During these 7 weeks one lives a humble and frugal lifestyle in preparation of that festival dedicated to the revelation of the bible on the mount Sinai. (cfr careme for the christians and ramadan for the muslims). This happens on a full moon.

And this festival is the third of a series of 3 festivals that were usually held in Jerusalem i.e. Yom Kipour, Pessach and Chavouot. Only moments of the year when the use of meat was autorised after a ritual slaughtering in the temple.

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Published in: on 24/10/2006 at 08:18  Leave a Comment  

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