Volume 2012, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2218-7480
  • EISSN:


Like other great faiths, Judaism is a gloriously wide-ranging tradition, whose texts and values rarely point in just one direction. Still, the overwhelming weight of this sacred tradition points us toward an environmental ethic far more intense than what our society now practices, and suggests a most urgent response to the threat of climate change. Jewish values can help correct the excesses of modern life which got us into today’s climate crisis, and they can help us address it by bringing us back into loving connection with Creation. This article considers six specific approaches drawn from the Jewish tradition: (1) the biblical creation story, which in Jewish tradition points us toward 'enlightened stewardship'; (2) the collective humility engendered by understanding that "The Earth is God's", not ours; (3) conservation mandates via the Jewish law, "thou shall not waste"; (4) other relevant legal categories including "love your neighbor", and the precautionary principle's biblical basis in Deut. 22:8; (5) Jewish theology, which bids us to be like God in giving a preferential option for the poor; and (6) the Jewish annual holidays which root us in cycles of nature, and weekly Sabbath which is central to Judaic conceptions of sustainability.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): enlightened stewardshipfrugalityHebrew Calendar and Jewish environmental ethic
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