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 the 13th Century Seder Hahinukh, righteous people should grieve when what seed is wasted?


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 does the Torah mandate the Jewish people do every seven years?
 Visit Jerusalem with their choicest produce
 Offer a sacrifice of grain and wine
 Allow the land to lie fallow for an entire year
 Celebrate the creation of the world


Question 5. 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.


Question 6. True or false: The Book of Job argues that human beings are the center and purpose of creation.


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