Family Matters

Torah on Tap: The Curious Case of The Lorax

January Torah on Tap: January 28, 4pm
Habitat Tavern and Commons

Environmental concern and conservation have come a long way in the last 100 years; in large part, because of the mounting scientific evidence that our global house is in jeopardy of burning down. Still, here in America, concern over the environment pales in comparison to concern over jobs and the economy. Financial issues trump the environment every time.

According to the Torah, our responsibility to care for the earth could not be more clear:

  • …do not corrupt or destroy My world; for if you corrupt it, there will be no one to set it right after you. (Ecclesiastes Rabah 7:13)
  • When you war against a city you have to besiege it a long time in order to capture it, you must not destroy the trees, wielding an ax against them. You may eat from their fruit, but you must not cut them down.  Is the tree of the field a human, to escape from you into the besieged city? (Deuteronomy 20:19)
  • Therefore, when you are in the Land of Israel, occupy yourselves first and foremost with planting. (Leviticus Rabah 25:3)
  • The root reason for this Mitzvah [bal tashchit] is known: for it is in order to train our souls to love what is good and beneficial and to cling to it; and as a result, good fortune will cling to us, and we will move away every evil thing and from every matter of destructiveness. (Sefer haChinuch 529:2)

Despite the fact that Christianity and Islam are also rooted in many of these same concepts, mainstream America, has been slow to make environmental issues a priority. What will it take for this to change? What’s at stake if they do not?

Join us at Habitat Tavern and Commons, Sunday January 28th , 4 – 5:30 pm, as we celebrate Tu B’Shevat with a fascinating discussion: “The Curious Case of the Lorax.” (See The Lorax, for more on this reference). We’ll discuss the challenges of taking environmental conservation and renewal mainstream as well as the scope of our responsibility as Jews. You are encouraged to bring in outside articles, research, essays, etc. to share.

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