My Jewish Learning

Nature & the Environment Quiz

The environment impacts so many aspects of life, from the air we breathe to the water we drink. How much do you know about green issues in Jewish thought and practice?

Question 1. According to medieval commentator Don Isaac Abravanel, the Torah emphasizes sustainability through its discussions of which of the following mitzvot?
 Dietary laws
 Shooing a mother bird away when taking her eggs
 Not wearing clothing with linen and wool mixed together


Question 2. How many shemitah years occur before there is one yovel year?


Question 3. How do many Israelis deal with the challenges of the shemitah (sabbatical) year?
 They sell the land of Israel to a gentile
 They bring in produce from farms in Turkey
 They eat only canned produce imported from other countries
 They eat produce without saying a blessing over it


Question 4. According to Maimonides, meditating on nature is one of the key ways a person can fulfill which commandment?
 To love God with all your heart
 To honor your mother and father
 To love your neighbor like yourself
 To not boil a kid in its mother's milk


Question 5. What is the Jubilee year?
 The year during which the Garden of Eden will begin to spread over the Middle East, eventually encompassing Jerusalem and all of biblical Israel
 Every fiftieth year during which the Bible mandates that there be no agricultural work; all landed property was to revert to its original owner; and slaves were to be set free
 Every fiftieth year when the people were commanded not to waste anything, and to bring all of their food scraps to the capital cities to be given to the poor
 Every fiftieth year when trees could not be cut down, and animals were not to be slaughtered


Question 6. Which of these statements about shehita (the process of kosher slaughtering) is true?
 Jewish law wants the butcher to look in the eyes of the animals before he or she kills it
 Shehita is generally understood to cause less suffering to the animal than modes of slaughter that do not guarantee immediate death
 It is the cleanest and most efficient method of killing an animal
 The violence is quick and brutal, which is what is mandated by King David in the Book of Samuel


Question 7. Which of the following was a major ecological concern in talmudic times?
 Waste disposal
 Water pollution