JERUSALEM (JTA) – The rabbinic tract Midrash Kohelet Raba tells us that when God created Adam, He took him to see each and every tree and plant, telling him to “make sure you do not degrade and spoil my planet – for if you do, there will be none to come after you and restore it.”
From the biblical injunction to protect natural woodland, even while laying siege to an enemy city, the rabbis of the Talmud derived the prohibition of gratuitous waste and destruction.
And the biblical story of Noah’s ark can be seen as the earliest recognition of humanity’s responsibility to safeguard bio-diversity from the consequences of human wrongdoing.
Protection of the environment is an authentic and significant Jewish value with deep roots in our tradition. So why isn’t the national movement of the Jewish people thought of in ecological terms as much as political ones? [Read more…]