Parashat Vayigash

Joseph's Foresight and Restraint

A Torah teaching for the Western environmentalist.

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We should refrain from overconsumption when others in the world are suffering extreme (financial and ecological) poverty now and when indications are mounting that today's ecological recklessness is impoverishing the world for the future.

Channeling more funds into helping the less fortunate rather than indulging in more highly material and energy-consuming goods and leisure activities is tzedakah (charity) for people and tzedek (justice) for the earth. We should replace today's model of immediate material gratification as well as conspicuous consumption with Joseph's model of foresight, self-discipline, and concern for the common good.

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Dr. David L. Goldblatt

David L. Goldblatt received degrees from Brown University and Yale University and a doctorate in environmental science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). He is currently a research consultant in energy and the environment for industry, ETH, and other universities, and he co-directs the translation and editing firm editranslate.com. Dr. Goldblatt lives in Zurich, Switzerland with his wife and four children.