Protect Nature
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Protect Nature
VALUES
 
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“The Eternal One planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and placed there Adam, whom G-d had formed.…  The Eternal One took Adam and placed him in the Garden of Eden to till it and tend it.” -Genesis 2:8, 15


The Hebrew word for nature is teva.  It is considered a mitzvah to protect or guard nature--sh’mirat ha-teva.  Judaism tries to instill within humanity the idea that people are partners with G-d in doing the work of creation.  Humanity does not exist in a vacuum, but shares the Earth with other living things.  There is symbiosis in existence with every element dependent in one way or another upon every other element.  We are to be thankful for the bounty of the growing things of this world.  This lesson is taught in the story of creation found in the Book of Genesis, but also reinforced in the writings of the Rabbis.  Incumbent upon this, as well, is the notion of ba’al tashchit--we should not be destructive, but rather work to preserve the good and useful things of this world.  This, too, is our obligation.

Questions for Reflection:

1. How is our environment a blessing that we should take care of?

2. What are some ways in which you can care for the environment?

3. How does this value connect to tikkun olam--to repair the world?

4. How can you incorporate this value within your classroom?


Take care of land, trees, plants, and animals, big and small.

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