Sustainable Development

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"Human beings must cherish the world, said the Baal Shem. To deprecate, to deride it was presumption. Creation, all of creation, was pervaded with dignity and purpose and embodied God’s meaning."

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To set apart one day a week for freedom, a day on which we would not use the instruments which have been so easily turned into weapons of destruction, a day for being with ourselves, a day of detachment from the vulgar, of independence of external obligations, a day on which we stop worshipping the idols of technical civilization, a day on which we use no money…is there any institution that holds out a greater hope for man’s progress than the Sabbath?

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The practices and theories of Jewish philanthropy that evolved in the second century C.E. anticipated many of the most advanced concepts of modern social work. Every Jewish community had four basic funds. The first was called the kuppah (“box”) and served only the local poor. The indigent were given funds to supply their needs for an entire week. The second fund was called tamchui (“bowl”) and consisted of a daily distribution of food to both itinerants and residents.

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"The Jewish religion values continuity. Our traditions have been passed down from generation to generation for the last 35 centuries... We should be passing unspoiled wilderness and viable populations of every single species to future generations."

[From COEJL website, http://www.coejl.org/learn/for_position.php]

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"Who is rich? One who is satisfied with his portion, as it says (in Psalms, 128:2),"If you eat of toil of your hands, fortunate are you, and good is to you" - Mishna Avot, 4:1

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This means, according to the words of our Sages…there in Yevamot [78b-79a], that Saul did not actually kill even a single Gibeonite.

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This is a moral issue for me and my community….How can we permit money to be made to feed the greed of people in our generation while ignoring the children who will live after us?... Let's start now the process of stopping the criminal abuse of our environment. Let's start by having comprehensive protections of the roadless areas remaining in our national forests... Jewish tradition teaches that we have a responsibility to protect the earth for future generations. "Choose life that you and your children might live" (Deuteronomy 30:19)

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Judaism teaches that we have a sacred obligation to the Creator, to Creation, and to future generations to safeguard and protect Earth's ecosystems. Before the Flood, Noah and his family protected at least two of every animal species, enabling all creatures to make safe passage from one era of human history to the next. After the Flood, God said to Noah: "Behold, I establish My covenant with you, and with your seed after you, and with every living creature that is with you, of the birds, of the cattle, and of every wild animal of the earth with you" (Genesis 9:9)....

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9. Environmental Justice is a Jewish value.

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Trees: The Ultimate Zionist Ideal

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