The whole purpose of the covenant at Sinai is to create a society that observed the sabbatical year. It is in a land where Shmita is observed that human beings will learn to respect the Earth herself, by remembering that none of us can own her.
A Jewish view of environmental responsibility demands action and humility. We know that the world is not wholly ours to bend to our will. Rather, it is something given to us in trust for future generations.
While the present Jewish environment movement has been doing a very good job on educating and activating the Jewish community on the issues of food sustainability and energy conservation, there is still a great deal of work that needs to be done.
Not all religious groups are as active in responding to climate change; indeed, some are actively denying it exists. But some organizations have realized that religious groups have an obligation to reinvigorate our society's conversation about climate change and hold policymakers' feet to the fire.
In the light of that Danger of Desolation hovering before us in our generation, let me offer what follows as a supplementary reading for this coming Shabbat, when Jews read the second portion of the Torah about God's decision to reverse and undo Creation with a flood.
We are living in a day when rain is often a curse. Both through absence and through excess, rain is bringing death. In our generation, Sukkot is an opportunity to wake up to the damage we are doing to the Living Waters.