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. 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 2. According to the book of Deuteronomy 11, when humans do good things, what will God provide in return?
 Rain and abundance


Question 3. According to Genesis 1, what did God create on the sixth day?
 Both a & b


Question 4. What is the traditional Jewish theological understanding of humanity’s relationship with the earth?
 The heavens are for God and the earth was set aside for humanity, so we can do with it whatever we want
 God gives careful instructions about what parts of the environment we are free to do with as we wish, and which are to be dedicated to His glory
 To the extent that the forces of nature can be harnessed, it is the job of humanity to be the stewards of the world, and to act on behalf of God
 Each person's relationship to the environment is determined by God, and it is each person's responsibility to seek out the appropriate balance


Question 5. How often do Jewish farmers in Israel let the land lie fallow?
 Whenever agricultural experts suggest the land has been overworked
 Once a year, for a month
 Once every seven years, for a year


Question 6. Which of the following was a major ecological concern in talmudic times?
 Waste disposal
 Water pollution


Question 7. What is the name for the prohibition of unnecessary cruelty to animals?
 Tzaar baalei hayim
 Im tirzu ein zo agada
 Gam zu l'tova