Published on April 25th, 2017 | by Organic Torah0
About Organic Torah
As global citizens we are experiencing a time of major crisis and also the opportunity for groundbreaking innovation. Our fraying environmental and social fabric has brought us to the brink of climate disaster, vital resource depletion, and social and political disintegration. The American Jewish community, along with most American faith traditions, feels the ties of tradition weakening and affiliation declining.Yet, within these upheavals seeds long buried may begin to sprout. People are looking to bring together what has been torn apart.
–Rabbi A.I. Kook
Organic Torah integrates ancient Jewish wisdom with new directions in modern thought such as ecological and systems thinking which emphasize networks of relationship, context and patterns of connection. This new approach to Jewish texts focuses on their patterns, recovers their organic vibrancy, and opens them up so that we can see their relevance to modern lives.
The renowned Jewish thinker Rabbi A.I. Kook famously said we should “renew the old and make the new holy.” We renew the old by using contemporary tools to gain access to old treasures of Jewish wisdom, and we make the new holy by adding Jewish wisdom to modern efforts to solve problems in environment, education and social justice.
Many exciting new initiatives in the Jewish world utilize holistic thinking in education, social change, environment and more. Organic Torah works together with and enriches these initiatives by adding a deep textual component in tune with their holistic perspectives. One of Organic Torah’s first major projects to enrich and enhance communal leadership and strength environmental values is in development, with a planned launch in late 2017:
JOFFEE COHORT RETREATS–these will provide a bridge between the entry level, experiential Jewish Outdoor, Food and Farming, Environment, and Education (JOFEE) programs aimed at young adults—and Jewish textual learning. These retreats combine experiential learning in nature with deep textual study. They are conceived of as a first step toward a planned year-long, three retreat plus online mentoring Certificate Program which would prepare JOFEE alumni to enter programs of higher Jewish learning such as Rabbinical schools, or batei midrash (houses of study).
Organic Torah also works to spread understanding of this new synthesis between old and new through publications, conferences, workshops and more. Among our current projects are:
PUBLICATIONS–In addition to multiple articles in process, Rabbi Margalit is now seeking a respected publisher for his book The Pearl and the Flame: Ancient Wisdom for a Complex World. This book will be a major platform for Organic Torah’s perspective and projects. For writing samples, by Rabbi Margalit, click here.
CONFERENCES–Organic Torah is planning a conference on Systems Thinking and Jewish Thought.
WORKSHOPS, WEBINARS, AND CLASSES–Rabbi Margalit is currently teaching several classes on Organic Torah. He is planning a series of webinars, as well as one and two day workshops which will build the Organic Torah Membership community.
Bringing together old and new, science and religion, heart and mind, Organic Torah is planting the seeds of a new Tree of Life, bringing excitement and creativity back to Judaism and bringing to bear ancient wisdom to help solve the urgent problems of our world.