Don't be a Fossil Fool
Updated: Feb 14, 2020
Today was the Global Climate Strike, where thousands of Torontonians gathered around Queen's Park to peacefully protest for government action to resolve the climate crisis.
I emerged out of the throng at Queen's Park Station. swamped by signs that read "Don't be a fossil fool", "Everybody Panic" and "It's so bad even introverts are here".
As I snaked my way through the crowd and saw children and parents and teachers and students and seniors and
I saw one single kippa.
In the weeks leading up to the strike, I asked multiple observant Jewish friends of mine to join me.
Their first reactions involved timid laughter and darting eyes.
"Who is Greta?"
"No, I've never heard of Fridays for Future."
As I patiently laid out the reasons for them to join me at the strike, their eyes glazed over.
"Wait, the Amazon is on fire?"
Rejection after rejection from my closest friends was getting me down. I turned to Facebook and saw my university peers sharing, lamenting and pleading for Toronto to show up.
Today, what I wanted to know was: "Where are the Jews?"
I knew one had too much schoolwork to do, one was busy running errands, one didn't think they could make it in the end.
But really what I knew was that this cause doesn't matter to them.
How can I make it matter to them?
It's not to say that I know everything and that I'm doing everything in my power to restore the environment. I'm not. But I care, and I want them to, too.
Pirkei Avot asks: “If I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?”
I fear that many of us Jews are only for ourselves. I fear that not enough of us are acting now.
I participated in the climate strike today not necessarily because I believe it will create massive change. I participated in the climate strike today because I wanted to watch the hysteria transform into a movement of global triumph and unity.
It did. I saw that it did. But valuable members of my community were missing.
When will we be more than just for ourselves?