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. In what way is Tuv Ha'Aretz, the first Jewish Community-Supported Agriculture program in North America, different from other CSAs?
 The produce is grown by Jewish farmers
 The money goes to Jewish charities
 Members have the opportunity to participate in educational and social activities that connect Jewish tradition with agriculture
 Members are required to take part in the mitzvah of leaving the corners of the fields unharvested


Question 2. According to the 13th Century Seder Hahinukh, righteous people should grieve when what seed is wasted?


Question 3. 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 4. According to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, why did the Bible require that levitical cities be surrounded by green space?
 So that the citizens had a place to relax and play
 So that city residents could maintain a connection to agriculture
 In order to prevent air pollution
 In order to prevent overcrowding


Question 5. 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 6. Baal tashhit or "do not destroy," is a concept based on the biblical injunction not to destroy fruit-bearing trees. The rabbis extend it to include what else?
 Excessive waste
 Causing pollution
 Mandated vegetarianism
 Eating local food


Question 7. Saadiah Gaon provided three possible reasons as to why God created animals. Which of these reasons is NOT one of his explanations.
 God willed it and it is not for humans to question God's will
 God created animals as a backup plan in case humans destroyed the earth
 God created animals to help reveal Gods vast wisdom to humans
 God created animals for human benefit