Published on April 25th, 2017 | by Organic Torah0
About Organic Torah
As global citizens we are experiencing a time of major crisis as well as 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.
Organic Torah works to spread understanding of this new synthesis between old and new through publications, conferences, workshops and more.
Albert Einstein said, “You can’t solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that got you into the problem in the first place.” For a long time we in the Western world have tried to control, manipulate and use the world by breaking it down to smallest parts. Now, we’re learning how to reconnect.
Organic Torah integrates ancient Jewish wisdom with new directions in modern thought such as ecological and systems thinking. This approach to Jewish texts focuses on patterns, recovers the organic vibrancy of our traditions, and helps reveal their relevance to modern lives.
As one participant in our classes puts it, Organic Torah “pairs modern day science writings with stuff out of the Torah, the Mishnah, and the Talmud in the same way that a chef would pair wines with food.” We’d love to bring our delicious pairings to your congregation or institution!
Among our current projects are:
ONLINE LEARNING – Rabbi Natan regularly teaches online courses in collaboration with ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal and Hebrew College on a variety of Organic Torah based topics.
PUBLICATIONS – In addition to multiple articles and blogs, The Pearl and the Flame: A Journey into Jewish Wisdom, Ecological Thinking and Healing in a Fragmented World was published in 2022 by Albion- Andalus Books. This book acts as a major platform for Organic Torah’s perspective and projects. For more of Rabbi Margalit’s writings, visit the academic writing and blog sections of our website.
SCHOLAR IN RESIDENCE — Classes, Shabbatons, one-day seminars, or retreats are planned with Rabbi Margalit, tailored to the interests of the host community. For suggested program topics, visit organictorah.org/scholar-in-residence/.
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.