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. The word "jubilee" comes from the Hebrew word "yovel," meaning what?
 Ram's Horn


Question 2. What kind of trees does the Torah prohibit cutting down during war?
 Willow trees
 Palm trees
 Fruit trees
 All trees


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. Which of the following was a major ecological concern in talmudic times?
 Waste disposal
 Water pollution


Question 5. Which of these Jewish principles can be used as a guide when dealing with issues of genetic engineering?
 Kilayim (mixed kinds)
 Shehita (kosher slaughtering)


Question 6. Contemporary Jewish thinkers have drawn on Jewish texts to address which of these issues?
 Sustainable development
 Genetic Engineering
 A & B only
 All of these


Question 7. 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