December 8, 2010 7:55 pm at 7:55 pm #593372
Are Recycling and other eco friendly acts a Mitzvah?December 8, 2010 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm #877460WIYMember
Probably, Hashem did command Adama Harishon “Leavdah Uleshamrah” to do work and to guard the world so this may fall under that category. However, as much as we do as individuals its nothing in comparison to what the government can do if they really cared. Dont think they care its all one big bluff. If they cared we would be using alternative, or solar energy and other similar things that would significantly lower the effects on the environment. If you recycle you are a good citizen but have really not accomplished much in the grand scheme of things.December 8, 2010 8:42 pm at 8:42 pm #877461SacrilegeMember
Only if they involve you buying me my brand new Prius 😉December 8, 2010 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #877462
Since Hashem created a perfect world, any use of his creations for purposes which He did not intend would be a lack of ???? ????
If this is too ambiguous, fine!! that is what I intended to be.December 8, 2010 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #877463
I am not aware of any mitzva of l’uvduh u’l’shumruh. Besides, maybe that was referring to gan eden.
I don’t see how hashem would care if we take care of the world or turn it into a garbage dump.
I think Hashem intended us to use the world, and take advantage of all the resources, like coal, oil, animals, plants, etc.
I think recycling is a waste of time, and believing in it as a mitzva is bal tosif.December 8, 2010 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm #877464
“I don’t see how hashem would care if we take care of the world or turn it into a garbage dump. “
Actually there are specific halachot that prohibit one from adversely impacting others and pollution is one of the things we are restricted from doing. If you even negatively impact my view from my window, that may be actionable in beit din. Kal v’chomer put a garbage dump next to my home.December 8, 2010 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm #877465
The world and all it contains is a gift from the Creator. to squander the world and its resources, or to fail to share it with ALL creatures is an insult to the giver of the gift.
Imagine if a friend gave you a gift. Of course, it is a gift, and you are free to do with it what you will.
In front of the givers’ eyes, you trash the gift. Is that an insult to the giver?December 8, 2010 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm #877466ChanieEParticipant
I think trashing the planet is an expression of ingratitude.
There’s a lot of hype and it’s hard to get really good information about whether the planet is melting (new theory) or freezing (not that old theory) and in any case, we don’t really know the full impact of our actions so it’s sometimes hard to know what to do, but some common sense never hurts.
Even if you don’t believe in recycling (which is more effective for some items than others), you can certainly reduce and reuse. For example, I bought sturdy reusable bags because I couldn’t stand how many plastic bags I brought home and threw out each shopping trip. (I use plastic bags for garbage so I occasionally don’t bring my bags to the store, just to restock.)December 8, 2010 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm #877467
@charlie: That is a crime against a person, not the planet.
@ronsr: failing to share it? Huh? Just what aveira is that? There is a mitzva of tzedaka to a yid, but beyond that?
I suppose purposely destroying the world would be an insult, but we usually do it for a reason. Like saving money.December 9, 2010 12:54 am at 12:54 am #877468mw13Participant
“Are Recycling and other eco friendly acts a Mitzvah?”
Maybe Kiddush Hashem, if done in a public way. Other than that, nothing that I can think of.December 9, 2010 1:03 am at 1:03 am #877469
dear popa: it is not an aveira; it is a sin against what your mother taught you as a child to help you become a civilized individual: share well with others; don’t try to hog more than your share; make sure there’s enough candy for everybody; pace yourself and save some for tomorrow.December 9, 2010 2:02 am at 2:02 am #877470
“That is a crime against a person, not the planet.”
And against HaShem! Too many of us take mitzvot bein adam l’chaveiro lightly.December 9, 2010 3:14 am at 3:14 am #877472kabbalahrabbiMember
Short answer: Yes, absolutely. But it depends if you’re really accomplishing something. Recycling itself is questionable because of all the energy that’s involved in trucks driving around picking stuff up and the factory that breaks down the recyclables. But your question as it pertains to things of this nature, acts of preserving products rather than throwing them out is relevant to the concept of “baal tashchis” which is an extension of the of one of the 613 mitzvot, not to destroy a fruit tree at war. Sefer HaChinuch says clearly that the a concept we can learn from this mitzvah is to treat every item in the world with respect and care. A truly righteous person would think twice before throwing out a mustard seed.December 9, 2010 3:35 am at 3:35 am #877473
Look, if it makes you feel good to recycle, or do a rain dance, or anything which is not assur, go for it.
I just don’t see your need to pretend it is a mitzva. And pretending something is a mitzva happens to be assur. It is baal tosif.
Charlie: it is pretty clear I was distinguishing between not harming your neighbor and not harming the planet. There was no reason for your remark about not respecting bein adom lachaveiro.
Ronsr: I don’t know what you are saying. My mitzvos come from the torah, not from my mother.
“Don’t try to hog more than your share” is apikorsus. G-d gave us what he wanted to give us, and also commanded us to give the poor “dei machsoram”. It has nothing to do with fair shares.December 9, 2010 3:41 am at 3:41 am #877474wants to be a WIYMember
Some random thoughts
PBA makes sense when he says Besides, maybe that was referring to gan eden. When ???was exiled from Gan Eden the
Torah says ????? ?? ????? no ??????
If the Torah was concerned about eco balance why is destroying ????? ??? mutar?
On not being ???? ???? even when the damage will be done anyway
see ???? ?? ????” – ??? ????? ????? ?? ??? ?????? ????? ????? ?? ??? ?? ??? ?? ??? ??? ???????? ???? ?? ??? ????
??”? ???? ? ??
On not being ???? ???? even to inanimate objects see ??? ??? ?? ?
??? ??? ??? ???? ?? ??? ??? ?? ????? ????? ????? ???? ????? ????? ?? ???? ??? ??? ?”? ????? (????? ??, ?) ?? ???? ????? ?? ???? ??? ??? ???? ???? ?? ?? ???? ?????
??”? ?? ???? ??? ??? – ???”? ???”? ????? ??? ????? ?? ??? ??? ??? ?? ?????December 9, 2010 4:02 am at 4:02 am #877475metrodriverMember
Yes. Being “Eco-Friendly” and doing our share of recycling is a Mitzvah, but not to go overboard with all those phony issues about Global Warming. In fact, those who seem to be the foremost advocates of limiting the normal expansion and comforts of life in the name of global warming are the most hypocritical individuals. They own and drive the largest, most gas-guzzling vehicles like SUVs and motor boats and cool their mansions to the max, leaving the largest “Carbon Footprint” (in their own vernacular.).December 9, 2010 4:39 am at 4:39 am #877476wants to be a WIYMember
PBA makes sense when he says Besides, maybe that was referring to gan eden.
See targum yonason The pasuk refers to a Ruchni ????? ??????December 9, 2010 4:42 am at 4:42 am #877477
dear popa: does the torah ask us to be menschen? Are we not required NOT to do to others what is hateful to us?
It is hateful to me when others waste precious resources, and pollute my environment.December 9, 2010 5:54 am at 5:54 am #877478
“I just don’t see your need to pretend it is a mitzva. And pretending something is a mitzva happens to be assur. It is baal tosif.”
popa i never said its a mitzvah i just posed the question to the learned people here, and u chose to throw in your two cents as wellDecember 9, 2010 5:55 am at 5:55 am #877479
Recycling makes *economic* sense. much of the plastic and paper produced in the us is partially from recycled fiber — despite no mandate to do this. Recycling is also cheaper than burying trash in landfills so if you think reducing taxes is a mitzvah then recycling would be a mitzvah. Recycling plastic also reduces US use of oil which means the Arab and Venezuelan anti-Semites get a little less money from us, so that might well make it a mitzvah!December 9, 2010 5:57 am at 5:57 am #877480
I’m not a fanatic about it, but global warming is happening and we should take it seriously. I drive a Subaru Impreza, take public transit whenever I can (more time to learn Torah!) and own a 1700 square foot “mansion” that is well insulated.December 9, 2010 5:59 am at 5:59 am #877481
“we usually do it for a reason. Like saving money. “
Economists have a term for that: Externalities. That is a cost to society that is not captured in the market. If you can destroy property (private or common) yet not have to pay for it, you have gained an unfair economic advantage. It really isn’t a savings.December 9, 2010 2:44 pm at 2:44 pm #877482
@goq: I was responding to the other posters. I wasn’t aimed at you.
@ronsr: I take your needs into account also. I just balance them against mine and most other people’s needs.
@charlie: Recycling does not make economic sense, as is not cheaper than landfills. If it was cheaper, we would do it without your ilk’s end of the world rants.
Yes. There are externalities, but there are externalities both ways.December 9, 2010 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #877483squeakParticipant
Landfills may become a very significant source of natural gas in the next 20-30 years. Waste management is pretty sophisticated these days.
Care to weigh in on whether these man made natural gas deposits will outweigh the amount of oil we’d save by reducing our consumption of plastics?December 9, 2010 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #877484
dear charliehall, you remind me what I tell my boys in my vain attempts to get them to stop wasting energy: We don’t want you to inherit a world run by Arabs and Russians.December 9, 2010 5:33 pm at 5:33 pm #877485metrodriverMember
Charliehall; (In response to admonition taking Global Warming seriously.); We’re not referring to mansions like yours and other “Plain Folks”. What I was referring to were the (Super) Mansions of the Hugh Careys and Al Gore. (Minus the Missus. She left him recently for “Maasim Tovim”.) who preach conservation to others, while they travel by private jet and SUV. Their supermansions are Super-Cooled at the parties they’re throwing.December 9, 2010 6:23 pm at 6:23 pm #877486
PAPA I observed something very unique about you. You can spot the minutest flaw in reasoning fact and writing, but you fail to notice when someone like Not as well informed as WIY supports something you wroteDecember 9, 2010 7:33 pm at 7:33 pm #877487
trying to be helpful: I’m sorry, what are you referring to?December 9, 2010 7:46 pm at 7:46 pm #877488
“Recycling does not make economic sense, as is not cheaper than landfills.”
You obviously haven’t tried to find land for a new landfill in the NY area. Where do you live? I want to buy the lot next to you and put a landfill there since you don’t seem to have a problem with environmental destruction.
” If it was cheaper, we would do it without your ilk’s end of the world rants.
This is a malicious lie. I have never given an “end of the world” rant here or elsewhere. I await your apology.December 9, 2010 7:47 pm at 7:47 pm #877489
“We don’t want you to inherit a world run by Arabs and Russians. “
Given our unwillingnes to conserve, this may be inevitable.December 9, 2010 7:59 pm at 7:59 pm #877490
But your ilk have given end of the world rants, and recycling is much more expensive than landfilling.
Whether I want one near my house is irrelevant to the economics.December 9, 2010 8:10 pm at 8:10 pm #877491
It appears you are correct. According to wikipedia, recycling is cheaper than landfilling.
But, that ignores the cost on the consumers of sorting their trash, and also ignores the environmental costs of landfilling.
I wonder if it also ignores federal subsidies.
I still oppose it because it is annoying, and costs too much in wasted utility of millions of citizens. Try hiring people to sort it at the landfill and see if it is still cheaper. Right now, all that work is done by us.December 9, 2010 9:07 pm at 9:07 pm #877492
Not as well informed as WIY
Some random thoughts
PBA makes sense when he says Besides, maybe that was referring to gan eden. When ???was exiled from Gan Eden the
Torah says ????? ?? ????? no ??????
See targum yonason The pasuk refers to a Ruchni ????? ??????December 9, 2010 9:17 pm at 9:17 pm #877493tzippiMember
You know the R. Krohn shidduch line about shoes? What kind of shoes does he wear? If he wears lace ups he’s a batlan because he takes the time to lace his shoes. If he wears loafers he’s a lazy good for nothing because he can’t be bothered to tie his shoes.
I don’t know if anyone here is holding by working on bitul zman to the degree that recycling is wasting valuable time. I say, recycle, even for those is municipalities where you’re not fined. It does good, in a milieu where the greatest good deed is saving the planet and whales it shows you have values (sic, yes sick, but this is reality) and a few other good reasons. But no one needs to lose sleep over not doing so meticulously.December 9, 2010 9:23 pm at 9:23 pm #877494
trying: That is odd. My screen has that from “Shloimi’s Shver”December 9, 2010 9:46 pm at 9:46 pm #877495
“your ilk “
Uh, my “ilk” is observant Jews who believe in God and try to follow His Torah. Including the parts that I’ve mentioned in this thread.
” ignores the cost on the consumers of sorting their trash, and also ignores the environmental costs of landfilling”
True. It takes a few seconds each week for me to open the recycling bin rather than the trash can!
“Try hiring people to sort it at the landfill and see if it is still cheaper. “
That would likely require a tax increase. And the contamination of recyclables with the real trash will reduce the value of the recyclables, increasing the costs even more.December 9, 2010 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm #877496
My point with the hiring people to sort it, is that the cost of hiring people is the true cost to the public in needing to sort it. It is that much labor.
Truthfully, it is even more labor to do it at home, since at home it is done inefficiently unlike how it would be done at a sorting facility. Also, at home, it is done by citizens who are professionals and businessmen whose time is more expensive than the workers who would do it.December 9, 2010 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm #877497
do you mean that all the time my mother invested in teaching me to be considerate of others, share and be a mensch were contrary to Torah?
dear popa, please let me know soon. I will call her tonight and let her know whether her efforts were worthwhile. She is 86 years old B”H, and deserves to know.December 9, 2010 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm #877498
>>>”We don’t want you to inherit a world run by Arabs and Russians. “
Given our unwillingnes to conserve, this may be inevitable.<<<<
it does seem inevitable if it is left to the energy conservation patterns of my two boys. But at least I will die knowing that world domination by the people who have all the oil was not entirely my fault.December 9, 2010 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #877499
It depends what she taught you. If she taught you the torah’s morals, that is a valuable teaching. If she taught you secular morals, that was a waste of time.
I addressed my comment specifically at the notion of fairness, and I will continue in that vein. I have never heard of fairness to others as a torah hashkafa. I know about tzedaka, and I know about chessed.
The difference is as follows.
I believe that if I have more than I need, I have an obligation to G-d to give yiddishe poor people what they lack and no more. If everyone has what they need and I still have the most, perhaps I would be doing chessed by giving people gifts.
In contrast, the notion of fairness is that if I have more, I am being unfair to those who have less. It gives them a right as claimants against me. “Why should you have more?” they demand. This is not a torah hashkafa.
Our hashkafa is I have more because G-d wills it, and wants to give me the opportunity to do tzedaka and chessed.
I assume someone will point out that beis din can force someone to give tzedaka. The answer is that they are forcing me to fulfill my obligation to G-d, the same as they can force me to wear teffilin and kill me for breaking shabbos. It has nothing to do with the rights of the poor. Even if they are mochel, I imagine beis din would still force.December 10, 2010 1:01 am at 1:01 am #877500Rak Od Pa'amMember
PBA “trying” was right!! What difference does it make who wrote it
you still did not acknowledge it
trying: That is odd. My screen has that from “Shloimi’s Shver”
You never heard of fairness as a Jewish mida?
Isnt ????? ???? ????? the basis of ???? ??? ????? ?December 10, 2010 3:44 am at 3:44 am #877501
Rak od pam:
Perhaps that is also beis din enforcing your obligation to Hashem.May 24, 2012 3:00 pm at 3:00 pm #877502
This was one of the first threads i ever started.
Bumpa BumpaMay 24, 2012 4:57 pm at 4:57 pm #877503Sam2Participant
PBA: I just read this thread. A rain dance should be Avodah Zarah.May 24, 2012 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #877504ItcheSrulikMember
Recycling is a matter of good middos, not wasting things etc. Popa doesn’t believe in middos 😉 (he’s said so) so he doesn’t think there’s any point in recycling. The rest of us should even though recycling centers are a major cause of local pollution.May 24, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm #877505
Also, in the meantime, I have figured out the answer to how recycling can be cheaper. The wikipedia page was referring to the municipalty’s cost. There are presumably state and federal subsidies for recycling, and extra fees on landfilling plus extra costs brought on by regulatory compliance with regulations and statutes such as RCRA.
Haven’t seen charlie in a long while. I once considered emailing him at his hospital address, but decided not to.May 24, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm #877506
This is an especially funny thread.
Here the chareidim are taken to task for adopting chumros in areas such as tznius, where the medrash says that when Hashem made chava, with each limb He sais “t’hei isha tznua”.
And here those people are making up this outrageous and baseless chumra on such wisps of connection.May 25, 2012 12:57 am at 12:57 am #877507HaLeiViParticipant
I noticed the same phenomenon about drinking on Purim.May 25, 2012 1:11 am at 1:11 am #877508HaLeiViParticipant
Sam2, is it really Avoda Zara? The dance in itself is probably not a form of worship, just based on the Avoda Zara idea. It might classify as Kishuf.
The only question is, if it doesn’t work can it be called Kishuf? According to the Rambam that no Kishuf works, obviously it goes after the Kavana. Otherwise, it might have to be ‘real’ Kishuf.May 25, 2012 1:34 am at 1:34 am #877509
“This is an especially funny thread.”
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