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The Way Into Judaism and the Environment


Jeremy Benstein, PhD

6 x 9, 288 pp, Quality Paperback, 978-1-58023-368-2

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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 traditional sources.
“Written in plain terms accessible to readers of all backgrounds … this thought-provoking material offers invaluable insights. Highly recommended.”
Midwest Book Review
“Compelling…. Commands an active read, with pen in hand.”
Jewish Book World
“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, blue home.”
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, dean, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies;
vice president, University of Judaism; author,
Gift of Soul, Gift of Wisdom:
A Spiritual Resource for Mentoring and Leadership

“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 environmentalism.”
Rabbi 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.”
Martin 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.”
Rabbi 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 relationship.”
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, author of Torah of the Earth;
Godwrestling—Round 2
and Down-to-Earth Judaism
“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.”
Nigel Savage, founder and director of Hazon
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 Report.
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 of Judaism.
The Way Into… enables all readers to achieve a real sense of Jewish cultural literacy through guided study.

 

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