Conclusion

This survey brought the environmentalist approach according to the sources of Jewish thought and Halakhic sources. Halakha and Agaddah are generally viewed as two distinct but mutually influential fields. It seems that on environmental issues too, the Agaddah and subsequent Jewish thought should be seen as providing the spiritual climate educating toward strict maintenance of the environment, while the Halakha provides the guidelines and tools. As shown, the literature of the Sages provides only a basis for the principles rather than particular guidelines on the management of modern hazards. And yet, it seems that modern environmentalist decisors and legislators could draw inspiration and motivation for their activity, both from the sources of Jewish thought, which provide guidelines for a positive connection with the environment, and from the Halakhic sources, which can illuminate how much the Sages' strived to nurture a local environment that was protected from hazards, aesthetic, and imbued with quality of life.

46 Tosefta, Bava Batra Tractate (Lieberman Publishers), Chapter 1, Halakha 12.

47 Jerusalem Talmud, Bava Batra, Ch. 2, Halakha 13, p 13:3.

Biodata of Dr. Yisrael Rosenson, author of "Guarding the Globe: A Jewish Approach to Global Warming"

Yisrael Rosenson, Ph.D., is President of the Efrata Teachers College in Jerusalem. For the past 26 years, he has been involved with teacher education and has researched the Bible and its relationship to relevant fields of inquiry, which include geography, ecology, history, and literature. He has published widely on various topics including midrash, Biblical criticism.

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