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Hanukkah story can inspire energy conservation, rabbi says » Yale Climate Connections

Hanukkah means “dedication” in Hebrew, and Rabbi Katy Allen says the holiday is an ideal time for Jewish people to dedicate themselves to climate action.

“We have a responsibility to do as much as we can to diminish our personal impact and our communal impact,” she says.

Allen is co-founder of the Massachusetts-based Jewish Climate Action Network.

She says the story of Hanukkah invites people to consider how they can conserve energy today. As the story goes, a one-day supply of lamp oil kept a menorah in the second temple of Jerusalem lit for eight days.

“How do we use that image of, like, we need one cruse of oil to go much farther?” she says. “So how do we make better use of the sources of energy that we have available to us and in a way that then reduces our consumption of fossil fuels?”

She says reflecting on the miracle of the lamp oil can provide inspiration.

“Every day it was like, oh my gosh, it’s still lasting, it’s still lasting, so there’s a message of hope there,” she says.

So she says that as people celebrate Hanukkah, they can find renewed energy for climate action.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media

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