The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 

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Every step you take...

Make a pledge for tikkun olam

Can you think of one thing, however small, that you have the power to change, before the next season changes? What's your next step to make your prayers and hopes for this Earth a reality? A suggestion: pick something very specific instead of (or as well as) something more general, like some of the examples you can read below.

Here's a kavanah you can say, from neohasid's prayer for voting: "May I merit to do good deeds and repair the world with all my actions, and with the act of [your pledge], which I pledge to do today on behalf of all living beings and in remembrance of the covenant of Noah's waters."

More importantly, find someone to share your pledge with (a chevruta, a partner in holy learning). Maybe they can share one with you. Make a date a few months from now to check in about how you've completed your pledge. And when you've done that, make a new pledge!

This page also used to be a place to record pledges (you can see a few below), but the comment system for neohasid is not working. You can write to David Seidenberg directly at rebduvid86 at if you'd like to record your pledge.

What issue inspires you the most? What is most pressing? What will have the biggest impact on your own life, or your family, or on the future? What ar your leverage points to change how the future unfolds? What is most current?

In 2016 some of the most pressing issues involve the Dakota Access Pipeline and other pipelines, the Black Lives Matter movement, peace for Israel and Palestine, safety and security for America and Israel and throughout the Middle East, and taking care of refugees. But focusing on what's current can also make it hard to focus on long term change.

A question that is both imediate and long term is, what way can you lessen your personal contribution to global climate disurption (aka "global warming")? And the most general question, which will take all our efforts for many decades or centuries to answer, is, how can we create a sustainable civlization, so that we can "live many days on the land like the days of the heavens over the Earth," as Deuteronomy teaches.


For Chanukah I replaced all 14 of the bulbs in our new house with CFLs, and it felt great!

Posted by: Riqi Kosovske at December 26, 2007 5:59 PM
(Note that because CFL bulbs contain mercury, they are a solution that creates new problems. -- editor)

I'm on my second tank of waste vegetable oil! I did the conversion at Lovecraft just before leaving LA, and have now pumped two full tanks into my 300D at Greasecar in Easthampton! Next dream idea up: a bicycle generator for T.V. watching.

Posted by: Reb Duvid, in Northampton MA at September 11, 2007 9:05 AM

I have decided that I will no longer use the dryer to dry my clothes but instead I will dry my clothes through line drying.

I have also decided that within the next six months, I will have become really good at riding my bike and be able to do city riding. My eventual goal with bike riding is to be able ride it around town and use it more for transportation and use my car less for transportation.

Posted by: Rachel Coleman at December 31, 2006 09:46 PM

I'm buying a drying rack that can sit over our floor heater to use in place of our gas-heated clothes dryer.

Six months ago, after my car was in an accident, I replaced it with a biodiesel.

Posted by: David Seidenberg at December 22, 2006 02:06 AM

carpool twice a month.

Posted by: avi hoffer at December 22, 2006 03:42 PM

Within the next six months, I am committing myself to use energy efficient lightbulbs instead of the incandescent lightbulbs. I will no longer buy incandescent/energy wasting lightbulbs.

Also, my plan is to buy a drying rack within the next six months and use the drying rack to dry my clothes rather than the dryer.

Posted by: Tina Coleman at December 31, 2006 09:58 PM

Our commitment: re-kindled by, we're organizing for greener town building codes, buying and recycling...keeping connected thru movies, discussions, all-ages beach pick-up-picnic-parade, -- personally aiming to walk, bike, bus and carpool more.
gut yontef!

Posted by: jerusha gittl korim at May 6, 2007 02:39 AM

For my election pledge what I really want to do is start giving a full 10% of my income to charity.

Posted by: David at October 28, 2008 6:20 PM

I will be working on election day to see that all who come to vote legally are allowed to vote and that their voices are also heard.

Posted by: andrea at October 28, 2008 8:31 PM

I'm slowly, one step at a time, "greening" my home.

Posted by: Tamalyn Kralman at October 29, 2008 7:26 PM

My election pledge is to not only push for my state and federal government to become more green, but to also make bigger steps towards greening my family through recycling and eco-kosher choices.

Posted by: Lance Frizzell-Reynolds in W. Mass at October 30, 2008 3:40 PM

I will help my community stay warm this winter by donating my money and my time to the Salvation Army's Fund that helps with their heating bills in winter.

Posted by: Debra at November 5, 2008 3:11 AM

To add your pledge, you can write to David Seidenberg at rebduvid86 at and it will be added here.
Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006