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An accessible introduction to the Jewish understanding of the natural world and the key concepts central to Jewish environmentalism.
At a time of growing concern about environmental issues, this book explores the relationship Jews have with the natural world and the ways in which Judaism contributes to contemporary social/environmental issues. It also shows readers the extent to which Judaism is part of the problem and how it can be part of the solution.
Offering both an environmental interpretation of Judaism and a Jewish approach to environmentalism, this book examines:
- What environmentalism is.
- What the creation stories can teach us about who we are and what nature is.
- The relevance of Torah and traditional sources.
About the Author
Jeremy Benstein, PhD, a founder and associate director of the Heschel Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership, lectures frequently on environmental ethics, consumer culture and religion, and the environment. He has published numerous articles on Judaism, Israel and environmentalism, including regular contributions to the Jerusalem Report . He is the author of The Way Into Judaism and the Environment (Jewish Lights).
Table of Contents
About The Way Into … Timeline Acknowledgments Torat Chayim: Books and Our Lives A Bridge in Two Directions On Relevance and Authenticity Midrash and Halacha, Sources as Resources Reading This Book Concluding Reflection A Note on the Translation Emet Ve'emunot: Environmentalism, Religion, and the Environmental Crisis in Context Nature, the Environment, and Sustainability Crises and Opportunities, Nightmares and Dreams Religion as Problem: Lynn White Throws Down the Gauntlet Re-evaluating Religion in Light of Environmental Concerns The Humble Ruler and the Stuff of Nature Religion and Environmentalism: Common Ground and Unique Messages Unnatural Judaism: From Alienation to Reconnection . Bereishit Bara': Creator, Creating, Creation, Creatures, and Us Biblical Beginnings: Readers, Reading, Readings, How to Readand Us Stories of Creations: Biblical Cubism Genesis and : Comparative Readings Genesis : Master and RuleThe Demands of Dominion Genesis : Serve and PreserveThe Stipulations of Stewardship Between Apes and Angels: On Being a Part of, and Apart From The Rest of the Story: Where Does Creation Stop and History Begin … Concluding Thoughts: On Goodness, Settlement, and Chaos Lishmor La'asot U’lekayem: Traditional Sources and Resources Nature: Is It and Does It Matter (I)Heaven v. Earth Nature: Is It and Does It Matter (II)Torah v. Teva (Nature) More on the Nature of Nature Wind, Rain, Mountains, and Fields Bein Adam Le’olam? Jewish Legal and Moral Categories Regarding Nature Bal Tashchit I: From Battlefield Forestry to Environmental Values Bal Taschchit II: Negotiating Needs and Wants Empathy and Ethics: The Pain of Living Things Tikkun and Partnership, Flax and Foreskins Olam Umelo’o: Contemporary Topics and Issues Multiply and Fill Up the Earth: Are We There Yet? Eat and Be Satisfied: How Much Is Enough? Of Pits and Piety, or Torah and Toxics Tzedek and the City: Justice, Land Use, and Urban Life Wilderness and Worship Melo’ Kol Ha’aretz KevodoThe Fullness of the Earth Is God’s Glory Mazon Ve’chazonFood and Vision, or the Duties of the Diet Sustainability and Sustenance: How to Keep on Keepin’ On Chagim Uzmanim: Cycles in Time, Sacraments in Life Lu’ach ve’Ru’achOf Calendars and Culture, Nature and History Yamim TovimGood Days: The High Holidays and Pilgrimage Festivals The Nature of Hanukkah The Four Faces of Tu B’ShvatA New Year of the Trees ShabbatA Day of Worldly Rest ShmitahThe Radical Social-Environmental Vision of a Yearlong Sabbath Blessings and Worship: From Appraising to Praising . Ha’am Ve’Ha’aretz: The Land of Israel and a Jewish Sense of Place Bein Adam "LaMakom"On the Importance of Place On Wandering and Return: The Jew as Native The Cultural Contradictions of Israeli Environmentalism Back to Bridge-Building: The Environment as Deep Common Concern Contents Talmud VeMa’aseh: Where to Go from HereSuggestions for Further Study Notes Glossary Index