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
“Written in plain terms accessible
to readers of all backgrounds … this thought-provoking
material offers invaluable insights. Highly recommended.”
“Compelling…. Commands an
active read, with pen in hand.”
“Only a guide as learned and as
passionate as Jeremy Benstein could succeed so magnificently.
Wise, deep, clear and healing, read it to root yourself in the
soil of Torah, then heed its wisdom for the sake of our sweet,
Bradley Shavit Artson, dean,
Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies;
University of Judaism; author, Gift
of Soul, Gift of Wisdom:
A Spiritual Resource for Mentoring
“Clear and thorough …
brilliantly articulates a mandate of Jewish activism that is
rooted in Jewish tradition and speaks to the broad range of
issues we face in our twenty-first-century global village.
Moves seamlessly between Jewish texts, theology and modern
scientific thinking, at a level that a lay reader can easily
follow…. A much needed resource to the field of Jewish
Marla J. Feldman, director,
Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism
“Will remain relevant for years.... A great addition to the Jewish environmental discussion.”
—Central Conference of American Rabbis Journal
“Takes an engaging look at the
interface between Jewish spirituality and the pressing concerns
of environmentally conscientious Jews. Shows how traditional
sources, viewed probingly, shed an edifying light on
today’s concerns. Will attract newcomers to Jewish
environmentalism and gratify old-hands.”
D. Yaffe, Center for
Environmental Philosophy, University of North Texas
“Gives thoughtful consideration to
the creative and careful attention needed to sustain us in the
new millennium…. Maps the route toward the necessary
healing of our planet and our people.”
Dan Ehrenkrantz, president,
Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
“Rich in understanding of how wise
Jewish thought addresses the relationship between adam and
adamah—earth and “earthlings”—and how
wise Jewish action can help to heal that
Arthur Waskow, author of Torah of the Earth;
2 and Down-to-Earth
“A beautiful and important entryway
into a topic of vital importance. Offers both wisdom and hope.
I commend it unhesitatingly to readers of all religious
backgrounds or none.”
Savage, founder and director
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
The Way Into...
The Way Into… Series offers an accessible and highly usable
“guided tour” of the Jewish faith, people, history
and beliefs—in total, an introduction to Judaism that
will enable you to understand and interact with the sacred
texts of the Jewish tradition.
Each volume is written by a leading
contemporary scholar and teacher, and explores one key aspect
The Way Into…
enables all readers to achieve a real sense of Jewish cultural
literacy through guided study.