Sustainable living is distinguished by a care for the environment, a desire to have as little influence on nature as possible, and the use of the smallest amount of natural resources necessary for survival. A sustainable way of life is founded on particular views about the necessity of maintaining the environment and reducing adverse human impacts, which are discussed more below. In order to ensure social sustainability, it is necessary to specify and manage the implications of practices and controls, organizations, and operations on individuals and social life.
The sample below is written by our essay writer to showcase the professionalism we offer to our customers.
Judaism has preached for the moral criticalness of preserving the health of the world and all of its living organisms since the Book of Genesis was written. Due to detrimental human activities and natural imbalances, the world is confronted with a number of problems, such as exacerbated climate change, resource depletion, ecological imbalance, polluting the environment, rapid population growth, poor health, moral corruption, social inequality, the economic inequality, and conflict. The religious community’s religious convictions push them to work toward a more sustainable future. Through observation and interviews, we were able to learn about the perspectives of the Jewish religion on sustainability, which revealed their support for maintaining the health of the environment and all of its biological entities.
All religions respect the world around them, and all religions provide counsel on environmental issues. Jews believe that the entire Earth is God’s property and that humanity should treat it with respect and care. Managing our own demands without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs is what sustainability is all about (Kornfeld, 2020). Sustainability, environmental protection, and climate change have emerged as critical issues for international organizations such as the United Nations, national governments, local communities, and varied groups of individuals. There is no doubt that a wide variety of various political parties have taken up the challenge of learning how to live more in harmony with the physical world. Furthermore, there is widespread consensus that immediate action is required if humans are to rescue the Earth. Jewish religion may have a role in providing advice or advocating sustainability in the face of growing concerns about the consequences of today’s life-altering events.
National-scale environmental ethics are formed as a result of a variety of cultural influences that influence an individual’s perception of their obligations. Because religion has shaped and continues to shape civilization so profoundly, it is beneficial to study how the ethical features of the world’s major religions have specified the circumstances that restrict long-term viability. Judaism proposes an approach to achieving sustainability that maximizes the welfare of current and future generations while also ensuring that resources are used sustainably. As a result, it falls somewhere between a-growth, which seeks to maximize current welfare while also ensuring that resources are used sustainably, and solid sustainable development, which seeks to maximize both current and future welfare while also ensuring inter-generational fairness in resource usages (Zagonari,2016). This research discusses the topic of sustainability in the context of the Jewish religion.
This research gives light to the Jewish religion and its role in sustainability by observing how Jewish tradition, beliefs, and ethics pave the way to their daily life by personally going to the Nessah Synagogue and attending a Bar Mitzvah. Human activities, such as international trade, migration, warfare, and globalization-related problems such as increasing immorality, inequity, and resource depletion, have all been examined in the course of this research. A Rabbi who attended the Shabbat dinner and another Rabbi who attended the Bar Mitzvah celebration was interviewed as part of the research. As a result of their extensive knowledge in Jewish law and well-respected figures by Jews, Rabbis were a logical option for choosing who to interview. Because the Shabbat dinner and the Bar Mitzvah both included a family member, the interview was seen as a natural extension and done with ease. Shabbat, Mitzvah, Pikuach Nefesh, Tza’ar ba’alei Chayim, Torah, and other themes that characterize Jewish beliefs and the world’s sustainability such as safety and wellbeing, families and friends, events, politics, and technology were considered in the development of interview questions.
The study provides detailed information about Jewish customs, culture, and ethical principles gleaned from direct observation. Along with scanning across interview responses, the researcher was also able to find, assess, and recurring document trends in the data collected. This is critical to determining if the research findings are based on accurate perceptions of the participants’ original ideas. Interviews aid researchers in explaining, understanding better, and exploring research subjects’ viewpoints, behaviors, experiences, and phenomena. Verbal communication is a vital part of interviewing, which helps researchers to collect more detailed data.
Findings and Analysis
Observations made during attendance at the Nessah Synagogue, attendance at the Bar Mitzvah, and an interview with two Rabbis conducted during a Shabbat dinner and Bar Mitzvah event formed the basis for this research. Throughout the observations and interviews, the Mitzvah of “pikuach nefesh” is consistently mentioned as the high point of the experience and of Jewish tradition in general. Pikuach Nefesh is a religious duty that applies to all Jews. The obligation to preserve someone’s life, even if doing so means breaching another Jewish commandment, is a moral obligation that must be fulfilled. The philosophy behind this Mitzvah is that saving a human life is more essential than any other Mitzvah and that it is the foundation of all other Mitzvot. Life is sacred and belongs alone to God; he has the power to grant and take it at his discretion. The use of cell phones on Shabbat, for example, is discouraged because it is the Jewish day of rest during which Jews contemplate the creation account as told in their sacred texts (Torah). During Shabbat, a doctor, for instance, may keep their phone with them at all times. Their phones are not touched, but if they receive a call, they are expected to answer the call in order to get to work on time. It is always possible for a doctor to break Shabbat in order to save someone’s life. It is also possible to survive by consuming food that is not kosher, as an illustration of this. Jewish people feel that it is their responsibility to make the most of every moment of human life. They consider the fact that they are alive to be a blessing. A Jewish person does not have to be in imminent danger for them to attempt to save them; this can even be done as a preventative measure. Considering this, the Jewish faith emphasizes the value of human life by recognizing human dignity and advocating for environmental preservation and protection.
Judaism is likewise committed to the preservation and protection of animal life. According to the interviewee, God has set a variety of commandments on the Jewish people, including a prohibition against animal abuse. The Hebrew term “Tza’ar ba’alei chayim,” which translates as “the requirement to prevent the suffering of living creatures,” includes an entire canon of commandments that directs that animals be treated with kindness and benevolence, as well as the requirement to prevent the suffering of living creatures (Barnhill & Gottlieb, 2001). For example, Jewish people are not permitted to “pass by” an animal in pain or an animal that is being abused, even on the Sabbath, when they are prohibited from doing any work. As Regenstein (2008) points out, the Jewish approach regarding animals has been guided by the understanding that they are God’s creatures, as well, and as such, have the need to respect and recognize the sentiments and interests of lower species. It is strongly urged that people be friendly to animals, with the belief that anyone who hurts an animal is harming his own soul. A similar amount of emphasis is placed on exhibiting God’s mercy to animals, as well as the significance of avoiding giving them any physical discomfort. Moral and legal standards surrounding the treatment of animals are built on the presumption that animals are a part of God’s creation for which man owes responsibility, which is supported by Jewish literature. Not only does the Torah make it evident that animal abuse is prohibited, but it also explicitly states that God expects humans to show mercy and compassion to animals (Regenstein, 2008). As a result, Jewish law has not mandated the adoption of legislation to safeguard endangered species, believing that it is the obligation of humanity to protect all animals. In spite of this, Jewish people have an intrinsic role in upholding this value, which advocates for sustainability through ensuring consistency and instilling awareness and empathy for animals in children.
After being asked what Jewish people believe about sustainability in the globe, the Rabbi responded by emphasizing that Judaism is all about caring for the world. Because the globe, the planet, and the environment are God’s creations, Jewish people think that it is critically necessary to protect and preserve these natural resources. God created everything; therefore, it is imperative to maintain everything in its original state. All religions respect the world around them, and all religions provide counsel on environmental issues. Jews believe that the entire Earth is God’s property and that humanity should treat it with respect and care. Judaism emphasizes the need for environmental protection from this standpoint. Judaism holds that God created the Earth and assigned to human beings a unique role within that creation, such as the responsibility to nurture, protect, and use it wisely. Although some people interpret this to suggest that human beings have been given complete control over everything on Earth and are free to do anything they want, Jews believe that humans should behave responsibly and avoid harming the environment in their pursuit of power. Due to the fact that it encourages the long-term conservation of biodiversity, this advocacy is consistent with sustainability.
In addition, findings from the interview show that Jews practice and believe in the importance of recycling and composting, which lends support to the notion of environmental sustainability. It is exceptionally vital to make the world a better place in Jewish tradition while also keeping it clean. The siddur/holy book/Torah has been utilized in every synagogue for decades and is still used today. To make things even better, when there are lunch-ins, Rabbis use metal forks, spoons, knives, and glass plates so that everything can be re-used the next day. This was also observed by others present for the Bar Mitzvah celebration. It was observed that the manner in which guests were welcomed was quite environmentally friendly. Instead of sending out paper invitations to all of their 200+ guests, they decided to send them an electronic device instead. In most cases, when families are invited to weddings or Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, they receive an invitation in the mail instead of in person. On the other hand, the family chose to send their invitations on the internet rather than using paper.
When asked about the meaning of everything created in this world, the Rabbi responded by saying that everything exists for a reason. There are good things and evil things in the world, and not everything can be controlled by humans. However, humans can pray for the world to become a better and more secure place. There are numerous volunteer organizations that are dedicated to making the world a cleaner and safer place to live. The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), for example, holds its annual conference in Washington, DC. These groups are really beneficial, and individuals are voluntarily giving their time and effort to make the world a better and healthier place.
Another aspect of Jewish ideology that contributes to long-term survival is the focus placed on education. Spiritual and theological instruction, for example, occupies a vital role in the system of teaching of values and morals held by the Jewish communities around the world. In order to ensure inclusive and fair quality education, which the world requires in order to attain sustainability, this emphasis is essential. Education is at the forefront of providing chances for individuals to achieve their dreams of living in a more sustainable environment. As a result, placing a strong emphasis on education and tales in Judaism will increase the awareness and understanding necessary to take appropriate steps in the promotion of sustainability. Over the course of history, the Jewish people have placed a high priority on Jewish education, which is crucial for the continuation of Jewish customs and ideals. The importance of Jewish education on Jewish identity, engagement, and continuity is well documented (Rosenblum, 2019). Education continues to be vital to the Jewish religion since it is essential to the definition of Jewish law and has made substantial contributions to the growth of Jewish morality. Furthermore, education has had a significant influence on the character of the Jewish people as well as the character of Judaism. This component is relevant to environmental issues since Judaism believes that education is the most critical step toward making the world more environmentally friendly.
To attain sustainability, as advocated by Judaism and other religions, it is also vital to educate people about the concerns that are growing in the environment. For example, Judaism emphasizes the importance of preserving our natural resources while also creating new ones for future generations to use (Reform Judaism, 2022). When it comes to supporting the environmental stewardship ethic, it is critical to remember that God has given human beings the responsibility of caring for all of life, along with the natural environment, as a gift from Him. Most organized religious organizations are guided by the stewardship ethic, which means that they support environmental education and outreach initiatives that aim to raise environmental awareness among the general public. And It appears that the Jewish effort to promote education and environmental stewardship is going to have a considerable impact on the world’s ability to sustain itself in this way.
As seen by the unification of Jewish communities, Judaism concepts likewise promote long-term viability by advocating human rights and international peace and security. For example, different religious bodies engage in activities that share a substantial number of commonalities and convergences, such as the promotion of human rights, peace, justice, health, community stability, and the respect for life in all creatures, that are aimed at advancing these goals (Fortman, 2011). This component of Judaism is achieved through the Pikuach Nefesh Mitzvah, which advocates for the saving and preservation of human life. In contrast, the Catholic Church has worked to promote human rights and peace by cautioning its believers against engaging in violence in the name of God while also reminding them of the importance of each individual’s worth. Human rights are encouraged by Jewish law, according to Freund (1994), with governmental authorities encouraged to respect and safeguard them. Human rights are an intrinsic component of the Jewish faith and heritage, and they should be protected. The Jewish commitment to human rights is rooted in the ideas that man was made in the image of God, that humanity is one, and that every individual is obligated to treat everyone other with dignity and respect. More than that, human rights must be recognized as the foundation of world peace and justice and as the foundation of every community on which they are founded. These characteristics demonstrate the Jewish devotion to fostering global sustainability through pushing for peace, justice, and the protection of human rights, all of which are vital for the continuation of human life.
Although the Jewish devotion to advocating for a more sustainable society, the religion has had hurdles when it comes to accepting technological advancements and modernization. For example, modernity has sparked substantial ethical debates about cultural identity and technological advancement, among other things. Men have begun to conceive, create, and manufacture horrible innovations, lethal weapons, and machines as a result of technological advancements, which may endanger human survival on all levels: socially, physically, economically, and spiritually (Jonas, 2016). Modernity has also wrought havoc on Jewish continuity because it has efficiently and successfully questioned the authority of traditional Jewish identity through being replaced by Reform, Conservative, various political movements, neo-Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox Judaism, and by the Jewish “enlightenment” (haskalah), and Jewish nationalist movements, such as Zionism in the secular sphere (Firestone, 2012). It is the responsibility of the Jewish religion to point to a middle ground and to put an end to the struggle between people of faith and people of reason. Instead of viewing the conflict between technological perspectives on sustainability as a threat to humanity, it is possible to overcome it by acknowledging that both faith and reason are valid ways of knowing that can be tested against the evidence of the external world and the universe, thus overcome the dispute. The religious leaders who advocate for the preservation of ancient religions should exercise caution to guarantee that they do not lose sight of the positive facets of ancient religions that are unlikely to be lost under any situations, instead of the disastrous wars that some religious leaders believe are God’s plan for the planet. While this is true, it does not preclude the Jewish struggle from transcending nature through the massive commitment required for the advancement of social bonding capital. Judaism must argue for the redemption of nature’s flaws via human care and management, which are required for the achievement of a sustainable future.
In conclusion, Jews believe in stewardship, which holds that God created the planet and entrusted human beings with a specific obligation to develop, protect, and use the planet in a prudent manner. As a result, Judaism argues for the creation of a sustainable world by conveying the idea that the Earth belongs to God and that humans must honor and surrender it to God in its natural condition. Jewish people place a high emphasis on actions such as Pikuach Nefesh as Mitzvah, Tza’ar ba’alei Chayim, Shabbath, and principles of Torah that strive for a more sustainable future. Pikuach Nefesh places greater emphasis on the preservation of human life than on other religious laws, whereas Tza’ar ba’alei Chayim emphasizes the prevention of pain in all living beings. Judaism also promotes peace and the social justice of human rights and the education of future generations in Jewish ideals. This approach, however, is confronted with the challenges of technological advancement and an expanding global population, both of which make sustainable development more difficult to achieve. For example, inhuman technical progress and modernism that persist despite religious teachings on sustainability are in direct confrontation with religious principles on sustainability. To make sure that technical innovation and ethical behavior are consistent with Jewish ideas, a partnership between technology, ethical norms, and religious beliefs must be achieved, and a middle ground must be met for sustainability.
Barnhill, D. L., & Gottlieb, R. S. (Eds.). (2010). Deep ecology and world religions: New essays on sacred ground. SUNY Press. 155-156.
Deep ecology and world religions: New essays on sacred ground by David Landis Barnhill and Roger Gottlieb talks about the importance and concept of “Tza’ar ba’alei Chayim.” The chapter is essential to the study because it explains an in-depth concept of respect to animals as part of sustainability.
Firestone, R. (2012). Holy war in Judaism: the fall and rise of a controversial idea. Oxford University Press.
The “Crisis of Modernity and Jewish Responses” chapter under, Holy war in Judaism: the fall and rise of a controversial idea, by Reuven Firestone explores the concept of how modernity has formed a crisis within the Jewish community caused by different perspectives pointing out from faith and reason. The chapter is essential to the study because it explains how such issue can affect the Jewish religion’s role in sustainability.
Fortman, D. G. (2011). Religion and Human Rights: A Dialectical Relationship. International Relations, 5.
Religion and Human Rights: A Dialectical Relationship by Bas de Gaay Fortman features how different religious bodies engage in activities that share a substantial number of commonalities and convergences. This article is helpful in the research as it contributes to the topic of Jewish religion’s role on sustainability.
Freund, R.A. (1994). Universal Human Rights in Biblical and Classical Judaism? Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 12(2), 50-66.
Universal Human Rights in Biblical and Classical Judaism by Richard Freund explores how human rights are encouraged by Jewish law. This article is helpful in the research as it contributes to the topic of sustainability.
Jonas, H. (2016, June 27). Contemporary problems in ethics from a Jewish perspective. Philosophical Essays: from ancient creed to technological man, 168-182.
Contemporary problems in ethics from a Jewish perspective by Hans Jonas argues Jewish religion conveys setbacks against technology and gives reason to its negative impact to religious principles. The source provides a useful description regarding how such issue can affect the Jewish religion’s role in sustainability.
Kornfeld, I. E. (2020). Let the Earth Teach You Torah: Sustainability in Jewish Law. Touro L. Rev., 36, 1003.
Let the Earth Teach You Torah: Sustainability in Jewish Law by Itzchak Kornfeld explores the definition and concept of sustainability. This is relevant to the research as it allows a better understanding of sustainability.
Regenstein, L. (2008). COMMANDMENTS OF COMPASSION: Jewish Teachings on Protecting Animals and Nature. The Humae Society of the United States. 1-16.
COMMANDMENTS OF COMPASSION: Jewish Teachings on Protecting Animals and Nature by Lewis Regenstein is a book that points out the Jewish approach regarding animals. The source provides a useful description of respecting God’s other creation to achieve sustainability. The reference is also a vital tool in understanding Jewish moral and legal standards surrounding the treatment of animals.
Rosenblum, S. E. (2019). Positive Jewish Education: A Pathway to Thriving in 21st Century Jewish Education. Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects. 193.
Positive Jewish Education: A Pathway to Thriving in 21st Century Jewish Education by Sarah Rosenblum explores the importance of Jewish education on Jewish identity, engagement, and continuity to preserve sustainability. The article is essential to the study as it gives light to the importance of education to sustainability.
Reform Judaism. (2022). Jewish Views on the Environment. RejormJudaism.org. Retrieved March 9, 2022, from https://www.reformjudaism.org/jewish-views-environment.
Jewish Views on the Environment from the Reform Judaism page explores the concept of jewish tradition and how it teaches individuals to care for the planet to preserve God’s creation. The article is essential to the study as it involves sustainability in terms of the environment and the role of Judaism.
Zagonari, F. (2016). Four sustainability paradigms for environmental management: A methodological analysis and an empirical study based on 30 Italian industries. Sustainability, 8(6), 504.
Four sustainability paradigms for environmental management: A methodological analysis and an empirical study based on 30 Italian industries, by Fabio Zagonari delves into the feasibility of environmental sustainability solutions both at national and local levels based on the religious environmental ethics of different religions. The article is essential to the research because it delves into the role of Judaism in sustainability.