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Ecology & the Jewish Spirit

Where Nature & the Sacred Meet

Edited and with introductions by Ellen Bernstein

6 x 9, 288 pp, Quality Paperback, 978-1-58023-082-7

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What is nature’s place in our spiritual lives?
In today’s modern culture, we’ve become separated from the sacredness of the natural world. This book offers a different, eye- and soul-opening way of viewing our religion: A perspective grounded in nature, and rich in insights for seekers of all faiths.
Respect for the holiness of Creation, our duty to protect the natural world, reverence for the land…a focus on nature is part of the fabric of Jewish thought. Here, innovative contributors bring us a richer understanding of the long-neglected themes of nature that are woven through the biblical creation story, ancient texts, traditional law, the holiday cycles, prayer, mitzvot (good deeds), and community.
Ecology & the Jewish Spirit explores the wisdom that the Jewish tradition has to offer all of us, to help nature become a sacred, spiritual part of our own lives.
“Highly readable…deftly crafted…a treasure-trove of tools and insights for following the deep roots of Judaism in the soil of this planet.”
Steve Curwood, host of National Public Radio’s Living on Earth
“A rich collection of thinking and practices.... Challenges people of all faiths to examine their own traditions.”
Rev. Lynne West, Environmental Justice Office, National Council of Churches
“Pioneering.... A winning, eclectic mix linking Judaism and ecology.... This book comes as a blessing.”
Rabbi Irving Greenberg, Founding President of CLAL; President, Jewish Life Network
“[These] readings are important steps toward uncovering Judaism’s long-hidden ecological message…. Can be appreciated by people from every school of thought and ethnicity.”
Sierra, the Magazine of the Sierra Club
“For the first time, a book that illuminates the guiding role that nature plays in human affairs….A welcome and powerful voice is now added to all those dedicated to preserving the integrity and sacred quality of the planet earth.”
Thomas Berry, author, The Dream of the Earth
“A great resource for anyone seeking to explore the connection between their faith and caring for God’s good creation, our environment.”
Paul Gorman, executive director, National Religious Partnership for the Environment
“Splendid…. Lively and compelling reflections on taking care of the earth.”
Publishers Weekly
“This timely collection, bringing out the ecological soul of Judaism, is a cause for celebration. Its many refreshing voices call Jewish spirituality to reawaken to its own glad reverence for Earth.”
Joanna Macy, author, World as Lover, World as Self
“Ellen Bernstein’s pathbreaking work helps us to rethink the meanings of Judaism’s ancient texts as we struggle to find ways of resolving today’s ecological dilemmas.”
Carolyn Merchant, professor of environmental history, philosophy, and ethics, University of California at Berkeley; author, Earthcare

 

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