There is an ancient talmudic tradition that affirms that the world was created on Rosh Hodesh Tishrei, a day also known as Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year. Our Mahzor also reminds us that the world was created on this day. So it’s particularly appropriate for Jews to stop and think about how we are celebrating this most ancient Earth Day, how we are honoring the birthday of our home, the planet earth.
The word “ecology” comes from the Greek root oikos, meaning “home.” The idea is that the earth is a place of close relationships – that plants, animals, minerals, and humans matter to each other and together constitute an integrated whole. Ecology, as a scientific discipline, studies the interconnections between species and habitat. It arose from the insight that nature’s character could not be understood by merely concentrating on individual parts but that one must also focus on nature’s mutualities and interdependencies.