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. 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 2. 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 3. How often do Jewish farmers in Israel let the land lie fallow?
 Whenever agricultural experts suggest the land has been overworked
 Once a year, for a month
 Once every seven years, for a year


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


Question 5. According to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, why did the Bible require that levitical cities be surrounded by green space?
 So that the citizens had a place to relax and play
 So that city residents could maintain a connection to agriculture
 In order to prevent air pollution
 In order to prevent overcrowding


Question 6. 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 7. True or false: The radical monotheism of biblical Israel led to a desacralized view of nature itself, making it not a realm of gods, but the Creation of God.