On a ferociously cold evening in November 1978, Rabbi Everett Gendler climbed atop the icy roof of Temple Emanuel in Lowell, Mass., and installed solar panels to fuel the synagogue's ner tamid (eternal light).
"We plugged it almost directly into the sun," said Gendler, who rejoiced that the ner tamid was no longer dependent on the finite and politically questionable energy resources of the Middle East.
I was torn between my professional responsibility to attend the most experiential learning moment of the this year's Hazon conference and my personal squeamishness.
Certainly, it was noble that Hazon, a nonprofit dedicated to Jewish environmentalism and food sustainability, wanted to connect participants at their recent conference in Falls Village, Conn., to the food they eat and in doing so, to halachically slaughter organically, pasture-raised goats to feed the participants. But would I be able to watch the killing of not one but three goats?