The Power of Water: Roka Haaretz al Hamayim/Who Spreads Out the Earth Over the Waters
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We are on the fifth blessing of the Nisim B’Chol Yom/the blessings for daily miracles recited during morning prayers:
“Praise to You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe,
Who spreads the earth over the waters.”
I cannot help but think about the power of water when reciting this blessing. The image that comes to mind is of rushing waters being held back by stretches of land. Since approximately 70% of the earth’s surface is water, it seems like a losing battle. Certainly the recent tragedy in the Philippines along with Hurricane Sandy, Japan’s Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and many other water catastrophes prove the point.
Global warming, climate change, environmental degradation and more are all contributing to a rise in planetary water issues. Whether too much or not enough, the power of water can be felt all over the world. Yet, we are the only creatures who can do anything to change the current course of environmental destruction. While every day we thank God for the daily miracle that is the ground beneath our feet, we must also pray for the wisdom to make the necessary behavioral modifications that will insure that ground remains available to us and future generations.
These Seas Count by Alison Formento. Illustrated by Sarah Snow. ©2013. Albert Whitman & Company. Ages 6-10. This charming book is so much more than a child’s counting book. An introduction to the ecology of the ocean and what happens when any body of water is damaged by pollution, this is a child’s first introduction to helping keep the earth clean and healthy.
Kenta and the Big Wave Written and Illustrated By Ruth Ohi. ©2013. Annick Press. Ages 5-8. An amazing story, based on real life accounts, of a soccer ball that is swept away during Japan’s Tsumani yet finds its way across the ocean to another country then back to its owner.
Tsunami by Kimiko Kajikawa. Illustrated by Ed Young. ©2009. Philomel. Ages 5-9. How much would you be willing to lose to save the lives of others? In this remarkable story, a rich, old man realizes he must give up most of his wealth in order to alert his village of an oncoming tsunami.
Tsunami Written and illustrated by Joydeb and Moyna Chitrakar. ©2012. Tara Books. Ages 10-18. This remarkable book is at once the story of the Tsunami that swept Thailand in 2004 and a graphically illustrated scroll depicting that event. Called a “Patua,” this is a form of performance art that is used in India to tell both traditional folktales and current news to villagers throughout the area. This team also created The Enduring Ark, the story of Noah’s Ark, told in this same “Patua” scroll style.
Going Blue: A Teen Guide to SAVING Our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, & Wetlands by Cathryn Berger Kaye & Phillipe Cousteau. ©2010. Free Spirit Publishing. Ages 12-18 years. This book is a “Call to Action” for our teens to move from the extraordinary work they have done saving the earth by “Going Green,” to now saving the earth’s water supplies by “Going Blue.” Loaded with information, reference material and social action project, this is an excellent resource for teens, their families and teachers.
©2013 Kathleen M. Bloomfield and forwordsbooks.com. All rights reserved.
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