Torah of the Earth: Volume 1

Arthur Waskow, Author
Arthur Waskow, Author Jewish Lights Publishing $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-58023-086-5
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-58023-075-9
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-1-58023-083-4
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-58023-087-2
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The relationship between Judaism and concern for the environment is exhaustively examined in this comprehensive two-volume anthology. Editor Waskow brings together 39 articles written by 32 scholars and experts. The first volume deals with ""Biblical Israel and Rabbinic Judaism"" while the second is devoted to ""Zionism and Eco-Judaism."" The editor, a founder of the Jewish renewal movement, was an anti-Vietnam war activist in the 1960s who ""came alive to Judaism"" at the age of 34. Twenty-seven years later, in 1995, a committee of rabbis from the Hassidic, Reform and Conservative movements and a feminist theologian who is not a rabbi gave him rabbinical ordination. He has published several books, beginning with The Freedom Seder in 1969. However, his editorial skills leave much to be desired, as evidenced by the irritating repetitions that mar this collection. Its better-known contributors include Norman Lamm (president of Yeshiva University), Abraham Joshua Heschel and Erich Fromm. The names of the other writers are less familiar, but some also make useful contributions to elucidating ""Eco-Judaism."" Six essays focus on ecological issues in Israel, emphasizing the shared stake of Palestinians and Israelis in environmental protection. The essays examine contradictions in Judaism and Zionism regarding beliefs and behavior affecting nature and the environment. These two volumes probe the roots of the environmental crisis as a looming catastrophe, especially in Israel, and point to a sustainable future path that requires spiritual healing. (June)
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