by Carol Wolman, MD and Robert Clapsadle
Dr. Wolman is a psychiatrist who has been studying consciousness about nuclear weapons for 40 years. Mr. Clapsadle is an artist and filmmaker. They have been married 33 years, and have two children. This article emerged from many discussions.
we attended the bar mitzvah of our nephew Michael Wolman. For his
Torah portion, he chose the first chapters of Genesis- the creation
Genesis 1 : 1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth... 26 Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[ a ] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
After Michael's beautiful chanting from the Torah scroll, Rabbi Jack Paskoff challenged the congregation to ask questions about the passage.
Carol asked, "Why did the Creator put humans in charge? Look what a mess we've made!"
The rabbi responded with a story: Once there was a trashed over, neglected city lot, full of weeds, old tires, and other urban detritus. A neighborhood woman made it her project to clean it up and turn it into a community garden, full of beautiful flowers and vegetables which she shared with her neighbors. She brought her rabbi to see it, and he exclaimed "What a miracle Creator has wrought here!" She responded, "Yes, but He needed human hands to make it happen".
Although we have trashed our beautiful planet,and continue to pollute it, we have the capacity to clean it up. The miracle needed is humanity's willingness to face the mess we've made and our resolution to clean it up and turn it back into a garden.
at this late date, we can clean up the planet, if we give it our
attention. New technologies can deal with seemingly insurmountable
problems such as detoxifying nuclear waste ( New
Method for Cleaning Up Nuclear Waste
stopping the deadly accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Our global economy is based on greed and profit rather than on
maintaining ecological harmony, but there are strong countervailing
forces, lots of people and groups dedicated to restoring balance.
What's stopping us? A number of things. We wear blinders, keep our focus narrow, and are unwilling to face reality. The truth is that there are many threats to our survival looming, and all of us know it at some level. Our DNA is programmed to ensure survival of the individual and of the species. We need to listen to our DNA and work for survival.