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 following quote is attributed to 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 2. According to the 13th Century Seder Hahinukh, righteous people should grieve when what seed is wasted?


Question 3. In what book does the commandment to be fruitful and multiply the earth first appear?


Question 4. Saadiah Gaon provided three possible reasons as to why God created animals. Which of these reasons is NOT one of his explanations.
 God willed it and it is not for humans to question God's will
 God created animals as a backup plan in case humans destroyed the earth
 God created animals to help reveal Gods vast wisdom to humans
 God created animals for human benefit


Question 5. 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 6. 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 7. 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