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. The ancient compilation known as Perek Shirah (Chapter of Song), is based on what idea?
 Singing is the way to get closest to God
 Each animal species sings its own particular hymn to God
 Forests are places full of natural songs to God
 Bird songs are the most organic prayers


Question 2. What does the Torah mandate the Jewish people do every seven years?
 Visit Jerusalem with their choicest produce
 Offer a sacrifice of grain and wine
 Allow the land to lie fallow for an entire year
 Celebrate the creation of the world


Question 3. 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 4. Contemporary Jewish thinkers have drawn on Jewish texts to address which of these issues?
 Sustainable development
 Genetic Engineering
 A & B only
 All of these


Question 5. 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 6. Which of the following was a major ecological concern in talmudic times?
 Waste disposal
 Water pollution


Question 7. According to Genesis 1, what did God create on the sixth day?
 Both a & b