I urge that Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, those who celebrate Manitou/ GreatSpirit in the varied forms of Native practice, join for Tu B'Shvat to celebrate the Sacred Forests of our planet.
I urge that we reach across our boundaries and barricades to celebrate the trees that breathe us into life. The forests that absorb the carbon dioxide that humans are over-producing, the forests that breathe out life-giving oxygen for ourselves and all the other animals to breathe in.
For us, Eywa is YyyyyHhhhWwwwHhhh, "pronounceable" only by breathing, the Interbreathing of all life, Great Mother/Father/ Creator of our planet Whose breath, Whose very Name, through the climate crisis and its global scorching is being choked by corporate rapacity and governmental arrogance.
I urge that we begin by going , anytime from now till January 29, in interfaith, multireligious groups to see AVATAR and then discuss its meaning in our lives. And then I suggest we gather on the evening of January 29 to celebrate the sacred meal of Tu B'Shvat together
What's to discuss? AVATAR teaches that the war against peoples and the war against the earth are the same war, being incited and fought by the same Crusher institutions. If we agree with this, how do we bring together the so-far separate struggles to end the two kinds of war? If we don't agree, how do we see the relationship?
AVATAR describes how some Earthians turn their backs on the military-corporate attempt to shatter the Na'vi and instead join the Na'vi resistance. What do we Americans, we Westerners, make of that?
On January 29, what's to eat? A sacred meal, a Seder with four courses of nuts and fruit and four cups of wine. Foods that require the death of no living being, not even a carrot or a radish that dies when its roots are plucked from the earth. For the Trees of Life give forth their nuts and fruit in such profusion that to eat them kills no being. The sacred meal of the Tree Reborn is itself a meal of life.
There is much more to learn about this moment that so richly intertwines the mystical, the ecological, and the political. I helped bring together the Tu B'Shvat Anthology called Trees, Earth, & Torah (available in paperback from the Jewish Publication Society at 1.800.234.3151) that traces the festival through all its own flowering across 4,000 years of history.
On the evening of Thursday, January 14, I will lead a teleconference seminar on the meanings of the Festival. All are welcome. To see what to do in order to take part, please click here.
I look forward to speaking with you, "seeing" you.
You can also click here for this same essay on our Home Page and comment there. Share your thoughts about AVATAR, sacred trees, Tu B'Shvat, and corporate behavior!
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