Rabbi’s Monthly Message



Between You and Me - November 2018

Light the lights…but replace them with LEDs!
Hunkering down for the dark, cold winter, our ancestors knew we needed to add light and warmth to our lives. Today, light and heat come to us at a high cost - in dollars and in impact on the world. I invite you to consider these easy ways that you can tighten the belt, as it were, and make a personal difference.
1. LED bulbs and tubes not only consume a fraction of the energy consumed by incandescent bulbs, they have the double benefit of being mercury free and long lasting. By doing nothing but switching to LEDs in your home, it is possible to reduce your carbon footprint by a whopping 6 tons and save 6% in lighting costs annually. This savings is equivalent to reducing your gasoline consumption by 700 gallons per year! Fun fact: In 2017 the world saved 570 million tons of CO2 by converting to LEDs.
2. Lowering your thermostat by two degrees during winter nights can save 10% of your energy usage for heating and cooling. And depending on what mix of energies your house uses, that could translate into a 2000 pounds of carbon savings!
3. Did you know that 2 minutes of the shower running without you in it (5 gallons of water times 365 mornings) wastes 342 lbs. of CO2 per year? Get into the shower as soon as it is hot and reduce your shower time to only what is necessary to get the job done!
4. Play with your washing machine settings. See if it makes a difference in your laundry when you turn the water setting to warm with a cold rinse, instead of warm wash with a warm rinse. You could be saving 62 lbs. of CO2 per year.
5. Call all those venders who send you unwanted catalogues. Remember the trees which give their existence to become catalogues are our best defense against CO2. Canceling 10 catalogues is a net savings of 154 lbs. of CO2 a year.
6. Unplug all your energy vampires - appliances like coffee makers, toasters, cell phone chargers that use energy even when you are NOT using them. Turn off your computer at night and when you go away on vacation. You could drop hundreds of pounds of CO2.
7. Call Duke Energy and get an efficiency evaluation of your home. You never know what simple fixes you might do that could save you money and save the planet.
None of the above suggestions takes the place of advocating for the most impactful ways we can limit our human contribution to climate change. Did you know reducing food waste, eating an increased plant-based diet, tropical reforestation and educating girls and teaching them family planning are the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh best ways to reverse climate change? Nevertheless, every pound saved by you now is a wonderful Hanukah present for your children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. Happy Festival of Lights!


Previous messages from the Rabbi

Between You and Me – October 2018

This month, I was late in turning in my Menorah article.  After the volume of writing and thinking I was engaged in to prepare for the High Holidays, I just kept putting it off.  I’ve even procrastinated on adding procrastination to the list of qualities I must address in myself this new year. In their … Continue reading Between You and Me – October 2018

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Between You and Me – September 2018

Rabbi’s Highlights of the 2018 CBHT Trip to Israel Thursday June 21, 2018: Meditating at 6:30 AM on our first morning on the Tel Aviv beach for 23 minutes with Asa Harris who said afterwards, “Meditation is like yoga, except without moving!”  In that moment I know I’m in for a treat with this group … Continue reading Between You and Me – September 2018

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Between You and Me

You may remember the NPR audio series called This I Believe that aired a decade ago. They were short, personal essays written by various guests about a core conviction borne from an impactful life experience. I will never forget one called, “Always Go to the Funeral.” In it, the author recalled how her father insisted … Continue reading Between You and Me

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Between You and Me

Two weeks after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in February, I accompanied 12 students to the March for our Lives in Raleigh.  Shortly after, one of our teens organized a rally for students here in Asheville.  Inspired by their passion for change, their stories of being afraid at school and a deep conviction that … Continue reading Between You and Me

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Between You and Me

Years ago, rabbis everywhere were writing sermons on the intrinsic wisdom of the instructions one hears in advance of every airplane flight you’ll ever take. “In case of emergency, oxygen masks will drop down in front of you. Place the mask over your mouth and nose. If you are traveling with a child, please attend … Continue reading Between You and Me

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Between You and Me

At services recently, I shared that this is the third year I’m renewing the same New Year’s intention: to create more space in my life to experience joy. In these challenging times, experiencing an abundance of joy seems ever more elusive. Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav, a well-known Chassidic personality who suffered from severe depression, some … Continue reading Between You and Me

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Between You and Me

Excerpted from a sermon delivered February 9, 2018 Thich Naht Hahn, a world renown Vietnamese Buddhist monk and teacher, wrote: “The first time I tasted peanut butter cookies, I was in California, and I loved them! I learned that to make peanut butter cookies, you mix the ingredients to prepare the batter, and then you … Continue reading Between You and Me

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Between You and Me

We are taking a break, a thoughtfully considered, time‑sensitive break from singing music penned by the well-known Jewish Rabbi and musician, Shlomo Carlebach. After a thoughtful discussion with the Sacred Music Team, we came to the conclusion together that in light of this moment, when the abuses of artists are becoming public and the wider … Continue reading Between You and Me

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Rabbi Response to Charlottesville

It is vital when acts of violence pierce the collective peace and well-being that are the promise of American society, that we never stand by and be silent. Of late, hate groups have become emboldened and their xenophobia disguised as the pursuit of equality. What was uniquely frightening about the gathering in Charlottesville was that … Continue reading Rabbi Response to Charlottesville

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