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. Baal tashhit or "do not destroy," is a concept based on the biblical injunction not to destroy fruit-bearing trees. The rabbis extend it to include what else?
 Excessive waste
 Causing pollution
 Mandated vegetarianism
 Eating local food


Question 2. The ancient compilation known as Perek Shirah (Chapter of Song), is based on what idea?
 Singing is the way to get closest to God
 Each animal species sings its own particular hymn to God
 Forests are places full of natural songs to God
 Bird songs are the most organic prayers


Question 3. The following quote is attributed who what great Jewish thinker: "It is not only forbidden to destroy fruit-bearing trees but whoever breaks vessels, tears clothes, demolishes a building, stops up a fountain or wastes food, in a destructive way, offends against the law of 'thou shalt not destroy.'"
 Abraham Joshua Heschel
 Mordecai Kaplan
 Joseph Caro


Question 4. According to Maimonides, meditating on nature is one of the key ways a person can fulfill which commandment?
 To love God with all your heart
 To honor your mother and father
 To love your neighbor like yourself
 To not boil a kid in its mother's milk


Question 5. Where does Jewish environmental education take place?
 At home
 In Hebrew schools and day schools
 At synagogue
 All of the above


Question 6. How many shemitah years occur before there is one yovel year?


Question 7. Where in the Bible is the commandment to tend to and till the world?
 In Genesis, at the beginning of the Torah
 In Exodus, when the Israelites are freed from slavery
 In Deuteronomy, just before the people enter the Land of Israel
 In Isaiah, when the prophet decries humanity's actions