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 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 2. 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.


Question 3. Rabbinic rabbis warned against spreading bits of what material in public land in order to prevent injury?
 Animal bones
 Leftover food
 Broken glass


Question 4. Where does Jewish environmental education take place?
 At home
 In Hebrew schools and day schools
 At synagogue
 All of the above


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


Question 7. 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