On Sept. 9, Dr. David Suzuki will speak at Temple Sholom on the topic We Claim We Are Intelligent: Then Why Are We in Such a Mess? (photo from Temple Sholom)
Temple Sholom has invited Dr. David Suzuki to speak at their annual Selichot program on Sept. 9, at 8 p.m. The award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster will present on the topic We Claim We Are Intelligent: Then Why Are We in Such a Mess?
Following Suzuki’s presentation, Temple Sholom’s Senior Rabbi Dan Moskovitz will join him in a conversation about our responsibility as people of faith and citizens of the planet to do the Jewish act of teshuvah, return and repair, for the harm we have caused in abdicating our commanded obligation to be guardians of the earth.
The theme of the program comes from Temple Sholom’s ongoing engagement with the environmental crisis through the lens of Jewish moral tradition. A responsibility further amplified by a sermon Moskovitz gave on the issue on Rosh Hashanah in 2019 that sparked a larger effort by the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver.
Suzuki has taught recently that the COVID-19 crisis has had two enormous and related consequences – it brought much of human activity to a halt and it has given nature a respite. Both provide an opportunity to reset society’s priorities and head in a different direction.
Confrontation with the reality of a new epidemic should have subdued political and economic imperatives to scientific reality and the United States and Brazil have shown what happens when science is ignored or brushed aside. In a time of accusations of fake news, deep conspiracies and relentless trolls, scientists should have regained authoritative prominence. People have had to confront important questions about purpose, values, opportunities and constraints in the way we choose to live. The murder of George Floyd in the United States and the outbreak of racist attacks against Asians in Canada have revealed deep-seated racism and inequities that must be dealt with in a post-COVID world.
In this exploratory presentation, Suzuki touches on some of the stark questions and answers we’ve encountered, from our impact on the environment and our ability to change it, to our dependence on the human creation called the economy and the unfair treatment of our elders, Indigenous people, homeless people, and others. Suzuki puts out a call to action for all of us to rethink our priorities and learn the ultimate lesson in front of us – that nature can be far more forgiving than we deserve.
Temple Sholom’s Selichot program on Sept.9 is open to the community. Pre-registration is required via templesholom.ca.
– Courtesy Temple Sholom