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. What does the Torah require of levitical cities?
 The cities had to contain fruit trees
 The cities had to compost organic waste
 The cities had to have up-to-date irrigation systems
 The cities had to be surrounded by pastures


Question 2. According to Genesis 1, what did God create on the sixth day?
 Both a & b


Question 3. How do many Israelis deal with the challenges of the shemitah (sabbatical) year?
 They sell the land of Israel to a gentile
 They bring in produce from farms in Turkey
 They eat only canned produce imported from other countries
 They eat produce without saying a blessing over it


Question 4. What kind of trees does the Torah prohibit cutting down during war?
 Willow trees
 Palm trees
 Fruit trees
 All trees


Question 5. 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


Question 6. Which of these statements about shehita (the process of kosher slaughtering) is true?
 Jewish law wants the butcher to look in the eyes of the animals before he or she kills it
 Shehita is generally understood to cause less suffering to the animal than modes of slaughter that do not guarantee immediate death
 It is the cleanest and most efficient method of killing an animal
 The violence is quick and brutal, which is what is mandated by King David in the Book of Samuel


Question 7. In what way is Tuv Ha'Aretz, the first Jewish Community-Supported Agriculture program in North America, different from other CSAs?
 The produce is grown by Jewish farmers
 The money goes to Jewish charities
 Members have the opportunity to participate in educational and social activities that connect Jewish tradition with agriculture
 Members are required to take part in the mitzvah of leaving the corners of the fields unharvested