Environment Reading for People of the Book


(Helen Jupiter)

They say that Jews are the People of the Book. If so, then every Jewish TreeHugger should consider aligning their religious values with the environment. Or is Judaism naturally environmentally friendly by default?

So asks Helen Jupiter, a writer and editor at the online magazine Jewcy. Last week, to honor Earth Day, she collected a fine sampling of Jewish-themed environmental literature, perfect for stocking your bookshelves.

She writes: "There are a lot of paths leading from Judaism to environmentalism and vice versa, and the following ten books offer gateways and guidance.

"Hopefully they're printed on recycled paper, too."

A couple of her pics: God in the Wilderness: Rediscovering the Spirituality of the Great Outdoors, by Rabbi Jamie Korngold: "Balancing an in-depth knowledge of scripture with a wry sense of humor and a compassion for nature, Korngold reminds us of the nooks and crannies of the natural world and says that we must seek them out, soak them in and care for them.

"The variety of personal stories, tales of travel with various Adventure Rabbi groups and contemporary alternative biblical outcomes—what if Moses had been too busy texting to notice the burning bush?—make for a book that is easily digestible but at the same time worth savoring. Purposely sized to fit easily into a backpack or pocket, the call to return to the wild—or at least your local city park—is ever present."

Pollution in a Promised Land: An Environmental History of Israel, by Alon Tal: "Virtually undeveloped one hundred years ago, Israel, the promised "land of milk and honey," is in ecological disarray. In this gripping book, Alon Tal provides - for the first time ever - a history of environmentalism in Israel, interviewing hundreds of experts and activists who have made it their mission to keep the country's remarkable development sustainable amid a century of political and cultural turmoil.

"The modern Zionist vision began as a quest to redeem a land that bore the cumulative effects of two thousand years of foreign domination and neglect. Since then, Israel has suffered from its success. A tenfold increase in population and standard of living has polluted the air.

"The deserts have bloomed but groundwater has become contaminated. Urban sprawl threatens to pave over much of the country's breathtaking landscape. Yet there is hope. Tal's account considers the ecological and tactical lessons that emerge from dozens of cases of environmental mishaps, from habitat loss to river reclamation. Pollution in a Promised Land argues that the priorities and strategies of Israeli environmental advocates must address issues beyond traditional green agendas."

TreeHugger related :: Jewish Passover and Its Connection to the Environment ::Be a Better Environmental Jew

::Jewcy via Green Prophet

Tags: Book Reviews | Books | Religion

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