January 9, 2017 6:32 pm at 6:32 pm #1220138
The other one in length wasn’t posted…. will post again
If it wasn’t posted, we don’t post it again…just sayin’January 9, 2017 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #1220139
“The principle that “one should not drain the water of his well when others need it” is found in the Mishnah.13 A Jew is even commanded to prevent damage threatening his neighbor from an outside force.14
The Sages of the Talmud expanded these rules also to psychological disturbances, such as possible exposure to a neighbor’s observation, noises, and so on. Anyone suffering such annoyances may appeal to the courts to force his neighbor to remove them. This may include the removal of the cause of the noise, although the noise is only indirectly due to it15 and even if its removal will cause the owner financial hardship. Based on these rules, the Ryvash drafts the guiding principle: “One may not protect his own property from damage at the expense of his fellow’s damage.”16 This principle could serve as a guideline in modern legislation for pollution control.
Four particular nuisances are especially liable to legal action according to Jewish law: smoke, sewage odors, dust and similar aerosols, and vibrations.17 Even if consent had initially been given, the offended neighbor can retract it. All of these are forms of pollution which are a source of great concern to this day. In particular, halakhah limits the proximity of certain industrial processes to the city, to prevent air pollution within the city. Included are threshing floors (because of the chaff), processing of carcasses, tanneries (because of the smell), and furnaces (because of the smoke).18 Tanneries are specifically limited to the areas east of the city, in consideration of the prevalent wind patterns in the Land of Israel.19
We have already mentioned the value the Torah places on beauty. It is obvious, then, that mere aesthetic damage such as littering in public places is also included in the prohibition against causing damage — if not according to the letter of halakhah, then according to its spirit. We find at least one example of such legislation: furnaces were forbidden in Jerusalem because the smoke blackened the walls of the houses, “and this is a disgrace.”20
All the above is only a small sampling from over one hundred paragraphs in the Code of Jewish Law21 which deal with damages caused to neighbors, most of them environmental. One who studies and applies these laws in daily life becomes considerate and sensitive, and will not make light of harming the environment. He will beware of causing damage in general, and ecological damage in particular.” (Aish)January 9, 2017 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #1220141
It’s more than just dumping waste into the ocean, as if waste doesn’t have an effect.
Waste in general is not holy. We cannot pray in a bathroom. There are laws against praying in the whiff of flatuation.
Are there not laws against having toxic fumes drift into Jerusalem?
We have laws to protect animals from harm and suffering. Don’t we? The ocean is the habitat, the home, of so many animals. The ocean is a mikvah.
One may never see the waste in the ocean, but it can become him. That sounds crazy but it isn’t. Pollutants get absorbed in the muscle fibers of fish. With bio-accumulation, where the pollutants are greater in density in a higher ranking fish than a lower ranking one, someone’s Rosh Hashana fish may speak for itself. We don’t need to see anything. The fish or food that one is eating is used to build the cells of one’s body. Kashrut is beyond skin deep.
We are not living in a perfect world, nor are we meant to. Nevertheless, that does not exempt us from being socially and environmentally proactive. Does it?
ThanksJanuary 9, 2017 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #1220143
There’s also a big difference between cooking a goat in its mother’s milk (which is what the Torah said), and eating a cheeseburger.
Who hasn’t heard this before? And yet we know that the line means something much deeper. The bottom line is that we don’t do it just because. And when we go deeper in its significance, it speaks to the sensitivity of the Torah to living beings.
—-Regardless of the other sources and ways that dumping sewage in the ocean could be an issue (from not causing suffering to an animal and so on), it is possible to derive meaning from not wasting what we have and not dumping waste into the ocean.
Dumping waste into an ocean is a destruction. It destroys the ecosystems that are there. For many living beings, the ocean is a home, a medium of communication, a road for transportation, and a portal to absorb oxygen.
This destruction causes suffering. Death. Deformations. Distress.
We are not unaffected either. We humans also use the ocean as a resource. So it destroys what we have. Loss. Then it also puts our lives in danger when we’re exposed to those pollutants. Suffering. We rely on the ocean for so much. When we neglect to be considerate of our actions, it’s our loss.
Thank youJanuary 9, 2017 8:25 pm at 8:25 pm #1220144
“Waste in general is not holy”
Really irrelevant to this debate. It exists, whether it is holy or not.
“One may never see the waste in the ocean, but it can become him. That sounds crazy but it isn’t. Pollutants get absorbed in the muscle fibers of fish.”
I am not a fish, and it is unlikely that a significant amount of that pollution will end up in any fish that I, or anyone else, eat.
“We are not living in a perfect world, nor are we meant to. Nevertheless, that does not exempt us from being socially and environmentally proactive. Does it?”
Well if we were never obligated in the first place, then we are exempt, ipso facto.
Again, most, if not all, of the sources you brought discuss the prohibition of bal tashchis. You haven’t brought any sources extending that prohibition to a prohibition against damaging the environment as a whole.
I would also like to point out that bombarding me with the footnotes from articles that you read is not an effective way of winning this debate. All you need is one solid source supporting your stance.January 9, 2017 8:55 pm at 8:55 pm #1220145
The bottom line is that we don’t do it just because. And when we go deeper in its significance, it speaks to the sensitivity of the Torah to living beings.
Stop reading your own ideas into the Torah with no basis other than your desire to.January 9, 2017 9:05 pm at 9:05 pm #1220146
“The bottom line is that we don’t do it just because.”
Actually we do. We do it just because the Torah says so.January 9, 2017 9:11 pm at 9:11 pm #1220147
See Midrash, Kohelet 7:13 :
When God created Adam, God led him around the Garden of Eden and said to him: “Behold my works. See how wonderful and beautiful they are. All that I have created, for your sake did I create it. Now see to it that you do not spoil and destroy my world, for if you do, there will be no one to repair it after you.”January 9, 2017 9:11 pm at 9:11 pm #1220148
Actually we do. We do it just because the Torah says so.
+1January 9, 2017 9:25 pm at 9:25 pm #1220149
DY: I got these ideas from Jewish sources.
I guess that I should stop learning about Torah from rabbis then.January 9, 2017 9:26 pm at 9:26 pm #1220150
“just because … [it] is what the Torah said [note previous lines]” (LB)
Because Hashem said so.January 9, 2017 9:33 pm at 9:33 pm #1220151
LB, here is my take on these issues: we have mitzvot against wasting our resources, not being cruel to animals. We also have concepts that we should appreciate the greatness of Creation, as well as the things that he provides for us. Yet, we also know that there is a Creator who is constantly recreating His world and taking care of it. So while we should not destroy the world on purpose, it is not our job to make sure that the world does not self-destruct. that was the mistake/sin of the generation of Haflaga (dispersal). they were afraid that every so often, some catastrophic event comes along to destroy the world. So they gathered together to build this fortress to protect the world. Chazal tell us that they were rebelling/fighting against G-d when they did this. They took G-d out of the picture totally, recognizing only their own powers. I think this is why frum people don’t make a big deal about environmental causes. G-d can take care of his Creations.January 9, 2017 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm #1220152
I guess that I should stop learning about Torah from rabbis then.
Pick better ones.January 9, 2017 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm #1220153
“See Midrash, Kohelet 7:13 …”
I appreciate that you finally brought a source that seems to support your position.
Though I believe the commentaries on that Midrash say that Hashem was referring to a spiritual destruction through sinning, rather than a physical destruction of the world.January 10, 2017 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm #1220154
Side note: Maybe Rav Miller and rabbonim who are against “global warming” are being careful not to consider the Earth a broken kli?
If there are no cracks in the kli, we can expect it to continue providing and serving its purpose just fine.
Maybe rabbonim and people who are frum, geneally, cannot consider the world to be affected by our actions on a great scale because that’s like saying that the world is broken and we’d need a revealed miracle to fix it.
—-Just a thought. I was listening to a shiur the other day about praying and worrying. If there is s kli that appears to be working, then we don’t need to worry about it. If it has a crack and/or looks like it will break, then we start worrying and praying. If we’re worrying then things will be alright because we’re praying.
Yet if we don’t see or look for any cracks, then we won’t have to worry in the first place.
Thanks.January 11, 2017 1:34 pm at 1:34 pm #1220155
All the logic in the world is not going to help with your argument if it is not backed by Torah sources.January 11, 2017 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm #1220156
If anyone else is reading this post, the question is if rabbonim looks at the entire universe as one contained system, a vessel holding blessings, like a kli.January 11, 2017 3:48 pm at 3:48 pm #1220157
Thanks for the perspective and your thoughtful reply.
Interestingly, at a shiur by a very prominent Chabad Rabbi, he explained that davka all of this environmentalism is a sign that the Torah is influencing the non-Jewish world.
Really the opposite of what some people who are frum assume.
He said that nonJews are finally embracing their Noahide Laws.
This global call to action is another indication of how we’re living in the Messianic Era.January 11, 2017 4:20 pm at 4:20 pm #1220158
And that is why you really need to pick new rabbis.January 11, 2017 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #1220159
DY are you against Chabad?January 11, 2017 4:48 pm at 4:48 pm #1220160
Just the corruption of Yiddishkeit which is promulgated in the name of Chabad, not legitimate Chabad.January 11, 2017 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm #1220161
LB, how did the Chabad Rabbi explain how environmentalism is connected to the 7 mitzvos bnei noach? The prohibition of ever min hachai (eating an animal alive)? – that isn’t exactly promoting environmentalism. Perhaps he was trying to make his words relevant to a secular audience by focusing on things that he knew was important to them?
One more thing about environmentalism, animal rights activism, etc. When viewpoints and morality are not based on Torah Hashkafa, they are easily warped. So you see that animal rights extremists are so worried about an animal being abused that they will commit violence against people. Or how about EPA rules that destroy people’s livelihoods and homes in order to protect some bird’s habitat. Things need to come from a Torah perspective, and what we do (e.g. dispose of our waste in a proper manner so as not to make our living space impure) or don’t do (e.g. chop down fruit trees) is based on halacha, not on what makes us feel good.January 11, 2017 9:29 pm at 9:29 pm #1220162zahavasdadParticipant
There is something called the food chain. And its fits the torah . Everything created by hashem has a purpose
Lets take Mosquitoes whom we all hate. What is the purpose of a mosquito. Mosquitos are eaten by other animals , who are eaten by other animals and at some point those animals are eaten by people. If the mosquitoes would died the animals higher up on the food chain would die
Birds eat alot of mosquitoes and they keep the mosquito population in check, if the birds are removed there will be more mosquitoes.
Hashem created the right checks and balances in the animal food kingdom. If we mess it up, we can create havoc.January 11, 2017 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm #1220163nishtdayngesheftParticipant
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“Though I believe the commentaries on that Midrash say that Hashem was referring to a spiritual destruction through sinning, rather than a physical destruction of the world. ” (Meno)
All the assertions in the world are not going to do anything without you providing halachic support. I am not asking about your beliefs here.
If you want to say what Midrash is talking about, prove it. Otherwise I don’t know why you are posting and ranting about my posts.
Thanks [exhale].January 12, 2017 2:58 pm at 2:58 pm #1220165
The Ramchal in Mesillas Yesharim, Perek Alef, says that the Midrash in Koheles is referring to the destruction of the world through physical pleasures.
(It would help to read a few pages before and after as well. Also see the commentary on the bottom)
Sorry about all my ranting.January 12, 2017 4:16 pm at 4:16 pm #1220166
Sorry, I just realized what I wrote may have been unclear.
I meant to say:
The Ramchal in Mesillas Yesharim, Perek Alef, says that the Midrash in Koheles is referring to the spiritual destruction of the world through physical pleasures.January 12, 2017 8:04 pm at 8:04 pm #1220167
Zahavasdad- I am not disagreeing with what you say and I think we do have an obligation to take care of our world. the question is to what extent and from what perspective. Hashem still runs this world, not us, and He gave us permission to rule over it and use it for our benefit. We might mess up, but Hashem sustains this world and can figure out how to keep it going even without our help.
A side point that I never understood- why is it that when a beaver family moves into a new river and builds a dam, thereby flooding the area and creating a new habitat, it is considered an amazing thing, even though the previous habitat was destroyed in the process, but when humans come in and clear land to build a new habitat (a new city) environmentalists consider it destructive?January 13, 2017 2:51 am at 2:51 am #1220168
Meno +18January 13, 2017 2:37 pm at 2:37 pm #1220169
“why is it that when a beaver family moves into a new river and builds a dam, thereby flooding the area and creating a new habitat, it is considered an amazing thing, even though the previous habitat was destroyed in the process, but when humans come in and clear land to build a new habitat (a new city) environmentalists consider it destructive?”
Why should humans have more rights than animals?January 13, 2017 3:10 pm at 3:10 pm #1220170
There is also a difference between “natural” and human-made. Beavers use natural resources and contribute to the environment. Humans make and use plastics and all types of toxic foreign resources. We bury, burn, and dump this trash. It doesn’t support the natural process, the circle of life.
Squirrels hide their food, burrowing away banks of acorns. It supports the environment. They are actually planting trees.
On the other hand, when we have storehouses of grain in warehouses, it’s not the same. There are actual people who can eat and use that food but it sits there until whatever grain industry it is gets the top price, despite who is going hungry. It’s also not the same as the way we stored food for seven years to get us through seven years of famine.January 13, 2017 3:19 pm at 3:19 pm #1220171
“Beaver ponds create important habitat for many other species, including juvenile Coho salmon. Some migratory birds also prefer landing on beaver ponds instead of more open bodies of water. Streams and rivers throughout the country where beaver dams are present have higher clarity levels and lower pollution levels. This is believed to be a result of the beaver dams slowing water and allowing these things to settle to the bottom.” (Oregon Wild)
Besides making room for more certain humans, is our building generally providing opportunities for the diversity of wildlife?
Or are we clashing and is wildlife now at a great disadvantage?
Even if Hashem made this world for humans, don’t we need animals? Plants?January 13, 2017 3:29 pm at 3:29 pm #1220172
From AishJanuary 13, 2017 3:32 pm at 3:32 pm #1220173
Wow. Okay if the Mod posted the last ones then this follows accordingly.
Just read that “nature” does not exist in Biblical Hebrew.
“Where is the word for nature in Hebrew? The answer: It is a name of G?d.” (Chabad)January 13, 2017 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm #1220174
In context of the whole sunrises and sunsets thing. A rebbetzin, not Chabad (just for the record because at least one my teachers was criticized here for not being frum enough or something) told me that when she sees the sunrise in the morning she is in awe of Hashem because no one but Hashem could have created such a beautiful universe for us to live in.
I don’t mean to say that Jews look at nature or worship it or need to worship it.
It is a gift to live in this world (maybe before we were born our souls fought it and didn’t want to come down but now that we are here, we have a job to do and for that I am grateful). Hashem is beyond everything. Hashem is everything.
When I am in the forest or in some place removed from human-made buildings and roads, it is so much easier to talk to Hashem. I don’t have to think about the man-made rules of obeying pedestrian traffic signs, parking spots. My mind is not overwhelmed with noises of vehicles or appliances.
Birds chirping, wind blowing, leaves rustling. The sounds of the womb to contemplate.
There is just Hashem.January 13, 2017 3:54 pm at 3:54 pm #1220175
LB – “On the other hand, when we have storehouses of grain in warehouses, it’s not the same. There are actual people who can eat and use that food but it sits there until whatever grain industry it is gets the top price, despite who is going hungry.”
Are you suggesting that people go hungry because farmers store grain?
They should just give away grain to poor people instead of storing it?January 13, 2017 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm #1220176
Meno: Nope not at all.
Shabbat Shalom everyone.January 14, 2017 9:42 pm at 9:42 pm #1220177
I am not an economist, but I assume that there are grain reserves so that prices don’t plummet when the supply goes up. If prices dropped too much, farmers would fail and we would all lose out since our food supply would be threatened. I think that the failed communist experiment has proven that without a profit motivator, people do not produce.
And by the way, when Yosef stored the grain for Pharaoh, he did not give it away to the hungry during the years of famine. They had to pay for it, and when they ran out of money, they traded their cattle and land, and then finally when nothing was left, they sold their own selves to Pharaoh, who then had to feed them since they were his property.January 14, 2017 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm #1220178
LB you are 100% right about the beauty of the world and how we have to appreciate it. The Ramabam you quoted is one that I have always thought a lot about and it holds very true for me. But when Hashem made the world, He made it for Mankind, particularly for Yisroel who would keep the Torah. We are not merely the top of the food chain. Adam is told “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and rule over it”. As rulers, we have a responsibility to the earth but we can use the earth’s resources for our own benefit.
Hashem gave the beaver sharp teeth so that he could chop down trees to build his home. Hashem gave humans a brain and the creative ability to make tools and materials so he can build his home. When the beaver builds his dam, he is not thinking about biodiversity, but how he needs a nice home for his beaver family. When we build our cities, we are thinking about how they will benefit humankind. Unlike the beaver, we can think about the consequences of our actions, and can come up with solutions to remedy them. But we cannot lose site of the fact that Hashem did not create the world and then abandon it to its own devices. Without His constant hashgacha the world would not be. So it is presumptuous of us puny humans to think that our physical actions are what is preserving this world.
Other than Torah learning, of course, as we are told that the whole creation was in suspension until “yom Hashishi”, the sixth day of Sivan when the Torah was given. And as the mishne in Avos says, the world stands on 3 things: torah, avoda (service, tefilla) and gemilus chasadim (righteous deeds).
So as a growing Jew who cares about the world he/she lives in, the best way to preserve it is thru learning Torah and doing G-d’s will.January 15, 2017 12:24 am at 12:24 am #1220179
WTP +1 🙂
I was just posting to explain that what I meant by the whole grain storing thing vs the way a beaver works and then I saw your post! You pretty much summed it up and then some in so many ways… thank you! Agreed.
As humans, we are very blessed and with those blessings we also have responsibilities beyond those of other creatures.
Shavua tov 🙂January 15, 2017 7:53 am at 7:53 am #1220180
Glad we agree, LB, it’s been fun philosophizing with you.March 1, 2017 5:17 am at 5:17 am #1220181
Whoa —A kosher cruise halachic wedding!
I didn’t know that the ketubah has the location of the wedding on it.
Yaakov and Marsha Motzen were joined in holy matrimony in a ceremony that adhered strictly to the Jewish wedding traditions and kosher laws that they both hold dear. Unlike most religiously observant couples, however, they chose to get married on the open seas.
…more than a dozen big-name cantors and other musical luminaries were on board to add their voices to this event, including Avraham Fried, Naftali and Natenel Herstik, Binyamin Helfgot and Dudu Fisher, plus Amiran Dvir and his band. -Jewish News ServiceMarch 1, 2017 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm #1220182
I didn’t know that the ketubah has the location of the wedding on it.
Yes, it does. Next time you’re by a wedding, listen to the reading of the ketubah. You’ll hear the place name in the first minute of the reading.
The WolfMarch 1, 2017 2:55 pm at 2:55 pm #1220183
Wow thanks Wolf!
So does it say city and state?
Like Brooklyn, NY? Does it also say USA?
What does it say for people who got married in Jerusalem? Jerusalem? Jerusalem, Israel?
Is the location different for Jews who got married in EY and do not recognize the Jewish state compared to those who do?March 1, 2017 2:56 pm at 2:56 pm #1220184
What happens if the location changes over time? I guess nothing right?
Like if someone is living on an island and they list the island but G-d forbid later a volcano erupts and the island is c”s no longer habitable. Wait that doesn’t matter. Maybe if it no longer existed at all that would be weird. But thank G-d that doesn’t happen.
Okay the end of this post before…March 1, 2017 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #1220186zahavasdadParticipant
Actually City names DO change
Lemberg is now called Lviv
Vlina is now called Villinus
Pressberg is now called BratislavaMarch 2, 2017 2:29 am at 2:29 am #1220187
What happens if the location changes over time? I guess nothing right?
Why would anything happen? City names (and, more frequently country boundaries) change. A kesubah, like any sh’tar, has to have the correct place at the time that it is written and/or goes into effect. It does not have to be correct after that.
Can you imagine what would happen if that were not the case and all the gitten written in a city suddenly became passul because the name and/or country changed?
The WolfMarch 2, 2017 2:36 am at 2:36 am #1220188
Byzantium became Constantinople became Istanbul.
St. Petersburg (Russia) became Petrograd became Leningrad became St. Petersburg again.
Tsaritsyn became Stalingrad became Volgograd.
Hanyang became Hanseong became Geyongseong became Seoul.
And, of course, let’s not forget that New Amsterdam became New York.
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