Asher Lo HaYam
אשר לו הים
While we are taught that God is omnipresent and there is no place where the Divine presence does not dwell; there are few places that evoke a spiritual experience or a connection with the Divine more surely than water. Stand on a beach and look out to the endless expanse of the sea, and we feel God’s power. Contemplate the still, calm surface of a quiet lake and we feel God’s peace. Sit on the bank of a meandering river and feel God’s presence.
What is it about water that touches us so deeply?
Psalm 95:5 says אשר לו הים "the Sea is God’s." Of course the whole world is God's,
but Psalm 115:6 says והארץ נתן לבני אדם "The dry land was given to humans."
So, while we can commune with the Divine anywhere, we especially feel that presence on the water, because the Sea is God's... not ours.
Repair the Sea
If the Sea is God's, we must treat it as such. No decent human being would vandalize a house of worship. You wouldn't desecrate it or treat it like a garbage dump. If the Sea is God's, then why should we not treat it with the same respect that we show to a synagogue, a church, a mosque or a temple?
What Are The Issues?
Inadequate Marine Protection: Only 3.4% of the ocean is protected
Ocean Acidification: The ocean absorbs CO2, changing its molecular composition
Dead Zones: Fertilizer runoff causes areas with little to no oxygen, which can destroy entire habitats
Invasive Species: Non native species often have no predators and a ravenous appetite, causing the decline of biodiversity.
Pollution: From runoff of chemicals, to plastic debris the ocean is being bombarded with human creations that don't belong.
Climate Change: As the sea temperature rises, so does sea level, and coral bleaching
Mangrove Degradation: These important ecosystems are removed for white sand beaches and developments.
Oil and Drilling: Practices often don't consider environmental impacts, causing harm to organisms and ecosystems.
- And many more...
What Are The Issues?
Image Source: The Indepedent
Tikkun HaYam Educates on Marine Conservation
Tikkun HaYam's primary program is Scubi Jew, a Hillel run scuba diving and marine conservation club. Students get scuba certified and participate in hands-on marine citizen science projects.
As part of a Scubi Jew program, our college students offer educational programming for community day schools and Hebrew schools, to pass on the knowledge of marine conservation and the spirituality of the Sea to the next generation.
What Can You Do?
Most people don't know the vast number of issues that affect our ocean, and the changes they can make in their lives to make a difference. But knowledge is power. We urge you to educate yourself on these important topics and join the movement in a way that speaks to you.
That can include joining our programs or finding other organizations that align with your interests. Check out our Connect With Others page to learn about the amazing work being done by other marine conservation organizations.