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Rabbi Julie Schonfeld: What Hanukkah can teach us about preserving sacred space

Published: Monday, Dec. 10 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

New Orleans firefighters David Nick, left, Bill Spiers, center, and Bruce Hurley, Sr. tour the Breezy Point section of Queens, N.Y., Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012.

Mark Lennihan, Associated Press

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Our take: Rabbi Julie Schonfeld writes about the effects of Superstorm Sandy on her family, the importance of preserving natural resources and how that correlates with the Jewish holiday Hanukkah.

NEW YORK — When my home lost power for a week during Superstorm Sandy, I felt that my most obvious priority was to make this situation tolerable and manageable to my two children — a first-grader and a fourth-grader. The urgent priority facing our country, however, is not to merely tolerate and manage environmental tragedy, but to build greater consensus around the way we use and acquire energy.

It saddens me to think that I must prepare my children to tolerate the aftereffects of super storms, but climate scientists tell us more severe weather is in the offing. When I was growing up only 15 miles from where I now live in suburban Westchester County, power didn't go out with anywhere near the frequency it now does.

What will be the long-term effects on some of our towns and neighborhoods in the aftermath of Sandy? New Orleans has not yet recovered from Katrina, and that was seven years ago. Whatever the discomforts, the worst was the gnawing feeling, at every turn, that I am leaving my children a world much worse than the one I grew up in. Is that really the best we can do?

Read more about What Hanukkah can teach us about preserving sacred space on Religion News.

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