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. Contemporary Jewish thinkers have drawn on Jewish texts to address which of these issues?
 Biodiversity
 Sustainable development
 Genetic Engineering
 A & B only
 All of these

 

Question 2. 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 3. According to the 13th Century Seder Hahinukh, righteous people should grieve when what seed is wasted?
 Mustard
 Apple
 Dill
 Pumpkin

 

Question 4. True or false: The radical monotheism of biblical Israel led to a desacralized view of nature itself, making it not a realm of gods, but the Creation of God.
 True
 False

 

Question 5. 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 6. 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 7. 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