Aubrey Rose guides the reader with humour, wisdom and enthusiasm through the age-old ecological teachings of the Jewish faith, its ceremonies, law and resources for developing a right attitude to creation; the contribution of modern Israel to the world's environment; and practical action by Jews worldwide.

  • an exciting source of wisdom, faith and practical action

  • a resource for study, discussion and action in colleges, schools, synagogues and churches

  • Foreword by Dr Jonathan Sacks

  • 16 Chapters

  • Section A: Resources in Jewish Teaching & Tradition. Section B: Israel. Section C: Action

  • Contributors: Aubrey Rose, Norman Solomon, Yosef Orr, Yossi Spanier, Philip L Pick, Schlomo Riskin, Uriel N Safriel, Liat Collins, Vicky Joseph, Sheila Chiat

The subject of ecology is of paramount importance. Our Jewish contribution in this field, from the first words of the Bible to the present day, has been full of insight, practical advice, and deep concern for nature, human beings and all forms of life.

This is reflected in the many articles assembled and introduced by the editor, containing teaching and principles enunciated long ago, developed in Talmudic times and by succeeding generations or rabbis, yet applicable to the changed and ever-changing environment in which we find ourselves today.

From The Foreword, Dr Jonathan Sacks - Chief Rabbi

There is something spiritual that pervades all things. We do not quite understand it. We do know that it is bound up with our religion, our sense of holiness. But we are now beginning to perceive only too clearly that if we continue to destroy our environment, our environment will, in the end, destroy us.

From Chapter 1, A Personal View

The Talmud concerns every phase of human activity. In it you will find laws about retaining green belts around cities, about waste disposal and the doctrine of bal tashchit - you shall not destroy. You are on this earth to preserve and guard nature, not to destroy it.

From Chapter 2, Introduction to the Jewish faith

These are some of the areas in which Israel has done so much: conservation of water, trickle drop system of watering plants, desalinization, sewage disposal, general irrigation procedures, including transportation of water, use of solar energy on a mass scale for heating and hot water, and on an industrial basis as a source of power; massive programmes of mass afforestation to stop soil erosion, build up topsoil, tie down sand dunes, absorb pollution, screen off noise, beautify areas; the development of the kibbutz and moshav forms of agricultural settlement combined with light industry, a remarkable example which could particularly help Third World countries; reclamation of barren lands and removing hillside stones and boulders - a process in which Jews were happy to be the equivalent of hewers of wood and drawers of water; the restoration of sites of antiquity and historical interest; the creation of wildlife and nature reserves, bird sanctuaries, scenic trails, the creation of biblical and botanical gardens and parks.

From Chapter 9, The Environment: Israel's remarkable story

Aubrey Rose set up and chaired the first ever Working Party on the Environment at the Board of Deputies of British Jews where he gathered experts on all aspects of conservation, producing a number of widely circulating reports. He represented the Jewish faith to address the All Party Conservation Group of the UK Parliament. He made numerous speeches and media appearances, and wrote many articles in his role as Jewish spokesperson on the environment. He also wrote some of the chapters as well as editing Judaism and Ecology, the first book ever written on the subject, as well as contributing to the World Encyclopaedia of Environmental Global Change.