The Environment in Jewish Law: Essays and Responsa

The Environment in Jewish Law: Essays and Responsa

The Environment in Jewish Law: Essays and Responsa

The Environment in Jewish Law: Essays and Responsa

Synopsis

Environmental concerns are at the top of the agenda around the world. Judaism, like the other world religions, only rarely raised issues concerning the environment in the past. This means that modern Judaism, the halakhic tradition no less than others, must build on a slim foundation in its efforts to give guidance. The essays in this volume mark the beginning of a new effort to face questions and formulate answers of vital importance.

Excerpt

Environmental concerns are at the top of the agenda around the world. There is hardly a newscast or a newspaper that does not mention them on a daily basis. the issues range from the changing global climate to how those changes affect a nearly extinct owl in the forests of the western United States. Global climate change is a worldwide phenomenon, but concern on such as air quality in congested cities will differ greatly in Los Angeles and Mogadishu. Thus some responses to environmental problems need to be international or national, while others will be highly localized.

The broad issues deal with our approach to the natural world. To what degree do we really understand it and the interactions of the various forces of nature? the decisions that we make are not abstract; rather they involve the underlying philosophies of different groups and religions. Are we to live with nature, or shall we dominate it and place it at our service? With either approach, or several others that are possible, the precise meaning of these concepts needs to be identified.

If nature is to be preserved, then the question of what is enough is instantly raised. Do minor species, about which, granted, we know very little, deserve to be taken into consideration? If we preserve large areas primarily for future recreation, how sacrosanct shall they be and when can they be considered for some development?

Economic considerations play a major role in all environmental decisions. Global issues bring about a conflict between the developed lands and those of the Third World. Can the latter develop without going through the polluting stages of industrialization? On the local level, there is always a price to be . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.