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Laws and International Laws

Eco-Judaism Essay

Judaism has a balanced and rational approach to the phenomena of nature and can be a source of pride for the Jews and a source of inspiration for the non-Jewish world.

Many of us, hurrying up on business in the morning, are witnessing how children, walking with their parents, involuntarily break off the leaves from the hedge, past which they pass. In the censure of any Jewish father (or Jewish mother) can tell his child one classic parable about Lubavitch Rabbi Yosef Yitzhak. Like many of his peers, when he was a child, he tore off a leaf from a tree, to which his father said that Gd had His intentions concerning this leaf, and therefore one can not unnecessarily tear off leaves from trees.

The Torah warns us against unnecessary destruction even in wartime: “If you besiege the city for a long time to conquer it, do not spoil its trees, picking up an ax on them, because you are eating from it and do not cut it down, Is it a person to leave your fortress? ” (Dvarim 20:19). Rabbi Aaron a-Levy from Barcelona writes: “A G-boy and a virtuous person … will never crush even a grain of mustard and will always be outraged by the destruction that witnesses” (Sefer Hanuka, 529).

Religious writings are full of images of nature and imbued with a sense of respect for it, and Jewish law gives the whole legislation on issues such as respect for flora and fauna, protecting the environment from pollution, saving rare species of animals.

The Torah prescribes the creation of green zones around populated areas: “And measure out of the city on the east side two thousand cubits, and on the south side two thousand cubits, and on the west side two thousand cubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits, and the city in the middle. there will be for them a site of cities “(Bemidbar, 35: 5). The Torah also insists on the inadmissibility of crossing different types of plants and experiments on crossing different kinds of animals: “Do not breed your cattle with another breed, do not sow your fields with a different grain” (Vaikra, 19:19), which in modern language means a ban on attempts to remove new species of animals by crossing.

Shabbat – weekly rest for people, animals and the surrounding nature. Jewish law encourages us to pronounce blessings on all kinds of natural phenomena (such as a rainbow, lightning, the fall of stars, the first flowering of trees, etc.). The most significant from the environmental point of view is the law of the Shmita – the law on the seventh year, when nature rests, that is, all fields remain under steam. Rambam says that contemplation of nature is one of the key ways to fulfill the mitzvah “to love Gd with all your heart” (Mishneh torah, Yesoday HaTorah, 2: 2).

In the rabbinic literature, we find many incentives for self-improvement based on observations of natural phenomena and animal life. Cruelty to animals is strictly forbidden by the Torah, and this prohibition is constantly repeated by the Sages. He is regarded as one of the seven laws of Noah, binding for all mankind.Hunting is considered to be an activity to which the Torah is extremely negative, while love of animals is often described in both the Talmudic and the classical spiritual literature.

Humanity and caring attitude towards our needy fellows also passes as the main theme in our spiritual literature.The cancellation of all debts every seventh year is one of the most interesting approaches to the problems of third world countries in our time.

Two thousand years ago, the Talmud (the Bava Batra treatise, 2) thoroughly developed instructions for harmful emissions into the atmosphere and water, and even against noise, and based on the book of the Torah, prescriptions against the depletion of soil by intensive farming.

The principles of the protection of nature are based on the laws of the Torah. As it is written in Tehilim (24: 1), Gd belongs to the earth and everything that fills it. Midrash says: when a fruit-bearing tree is cut down, a voice is heard from one end of the world to another, but this voice is inaudible. This expression makes us think about the uncontrolled use of paper and other products made from natural raw materials, the extraction of which quickly exhausts nature.

To all “green” topics, Judaism has a balanced and rational approach that can be a source of pride for Jews and inspiration for the non-Jewish world.

The traditional respect of the Jewish people for the nature and life of animals gives us an opportunity to shape our actions based on the ethics of environmental protection. To do so is to preserve and develop our traditions.Otherwise, fencing off the problem of ecology, we risk remaining blind to our own values.



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