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Monday, January 29, 2007

Judaic Law Environmentally Friendly?

Here is an interesting article showing a side of Judaism within the religion that many people may not be aware about.

( [I]t is interesting to note how pervasive environmental legislation is in Jewish law with the consequence that one who follows halacha to the fullest, would, if only from repeated exposure, develop a highly refined environmental consciousness. [...]

Ancient wars were fought using different raw materials than those we use today. For us rubber, plastic, and various metals are the crucial elements. In ancient times it was wood. Fuel, siege engines, arrows and spears, all needed this critical element to function. While not all types of wood were good for all purposes, all wood could be helpful to the war effort in some ways. War is, undeniably, a time of great need, and great danger. Nonetheless, biblical law prohibits use of wood from fruit trees even under battlefield conditions.

The article quotes Deuteronomy 20:19-20 which probably could be applied to the wars of today, as modern warfare can have evil side effects on environment (let alone the people involved in them).

Perhaps this explains why Israel often tries to be environmentally friendly, regardless of the impact on the shekel (or dollar, yen, pound, etc.).

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