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As a rabbi I feel guilty for not doing more to present an authentically Jewish perspective on matters such as reforestation, recycling or globalisation.In a raft of 'Green' issues Judaism has a balanced and reasoned approach that could be a source of pride to Jews and a source of inspiration to the non-Jewish world.We are called upon in Jewish law to offer blessings for all manner of natural phenomena (rainbow, lightning, shooting stars, the first blossoms of a tree, etc.).A most dramatic ecological gesture is Shemita, the seventh year rest for the environment, when all fields lie fallow.Cruelty to animals is repeatedly prohibited in the Torah and the Talmud and later codes -- and is considered one of the seven Noahide Laws incumbent on all humankind.Hunting is seriously frowned upon in Judaism, while sensitivity to animals is a frequent motif in Talmudic and Chassidic literature.The Rav’s first pulpit was in Phikelin, Lithuania in 1885 but soon after moved to the United States.

Shabbat is a weekly rest for humans, animals and the natural world.And shouldn't that afford rabbis a clearer line on the undesirability of the fur trade in our fair climates, now that its cruel practices are public knowledge. Psalms declares, To the Lord belongs the Earth and all it contains (24:1).Yet it is not often that I am informed by a Jewish organisation of their environmental policy.they never destroy even a grain of mustard, and are upset at any destruction they see, (Sefer ha Chinuch, 529).Scriptural writings are full of natural imagery and are steeped in respect for nature, while biblical and later rabbinic law provide comprehensive legislation on issues such as conservation, animal welfare, species preservation, sanitation and pollution.As a young boy he carelessly ripped a leaf of a tree and was told by his father that God had his intention for that leaf and he was not to damage it unnecessarily.

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