God has given us one earth, one place that can sustain all life. It is our religious and moral responsibility to do everything we can to protect it. Our lives and the lives of our children depend on it.
The global climate crisis should be a matter of grave concern to all of us. Our divine mandate is to both “work the land”—to benefit from the gift of this Earth that God has given us—and “protect it”—treasure it, take care of it, and make sure that it can be passed down to the next generation and beyond.
The Midrash (Kohelet Rabbah 7:13) says it best:
“ראה את מעשה הא-להים כי מי יוכל לתקן את אשר עותו” (קהלת ז’:י”ג). בשעה שברא הקדוש ברוך הוא את אדם הראשון נטלו והחזירו על כל אילני גן עדן ואמר לו ראה מעשי כמה נאים ומשובחין הן וכל מה שבראתי בשבילך בראתי, תן דעתך שלא תקלקל ותחריב את עולמי, שאם קלקלת אין מי שיתקן אחריך
When the God created the first human, God took him and surveyed with him all the trees of the Garden of Eden. God said to him: “See my works, how beautiful and praiseworthy they are! All that I have created – for you have I created them. Take pains that you should not ruin and destroy My world, for if you ruin it, there is no one who can fix it after you.”
We at YCT are dedicated to helping raise the consciousness of this issue and inspiring people to embrace this responsibility on the personal and communal level. Please explore our resources, Torah, and teshuvot on this topic, together with practical suggestions to help us move from learning to doing.
- Halakhic Approach to Climate Crisis (Hebrew) by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
- Halakhic Approach to Climate Crisis (English) by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
- Pollution and Greenhouse Gases The Proper Balances by Rabbanit Michal Tikochinski in Response to Rav Haggai
- Habitation, Not Chaos: Perspectives on the Development of an Halakhic Approach to Climate Change by Rabbi Daniel Wolf in Response to Resnikoff
- “The Torah Commandments and Ecology” by Rabbi Yuval Cherlow
- Climate Crisis and Halakha by Rabbi Dov Linzer
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