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ENVIRONMENT IN JEWISH LAW

Essays and Responsa

2003 - ISBN 1-57181-431-0

Contents

Eco-Judaism - Does it Exist ? - Walter Jacob ................................................................................................1

Ecology as a Mitzvah - Moshe Zemer ...........................................................................................................24

When Values Collide: Economics, Health and the Environment - Rachel S. Mikva .........................................34

Urban Planning in Jewish Environmental Law - Philip J. Bentley ....................................................................45

Judaism and Animal Welfare - John D. Rayner .............................................................................................56

Selected Reform Responsa

The Environment and Property Rights............................................................................................................ 75

Asbestos Versus Refugees ............................................................................................................................77

Early Zionism, the Biblical Landscape and Ecology....................................................................................... 80

Torah Ark and Ecology ...............................................................................................................................83

Recycling Sacred Books and the Genizah ....................................................................................................90

Shredding Religious Services to Protect God= s Name .................................................................................97

The Use of Tobacco ..................................................................................................................................99

Responsibility Toward Pets....................................................................................................................... 107

Jewish Involvement in Genetic Engineering .................................................................................................112

Contributors

Philip J. Bentley is rabbi of Agudas Israel, Hendersonville, NC. He has writtenin the area of ecology and in other fields.

Lynn Bry is M.D./Ph.D. student in molecular microbiology in Israel; she has written on environmental concerns in The Environmental Magazine and elsewhere.

Solomon B. Freehof (1893B 1990) served as rabbi of the Rodef Shalom Congregation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the World Union for Progressive Judaism; and Chair of the Responsa Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and of the Commission on Jewish Education of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He was author of eight volumes of responsa, including Today's Reform Responsa (1990), Preface to Scripture (1950), Reform Jewish Practice (1947, 1952), The Responsa Literature (1955), A Treasury of Responsa (1963), and many other books.

Walter Jacob is President of the Abraham Geiger College in Berlin/Potsdam; Senior Scholar of Rodef Shalom Congregation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; President of the Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah and the Associated American Jewish Museums. Author, editor, or translator of thirty-six books including Christianity through Jewish Eyes (1974), American Reform Responsa (1983), The Pittsburgh Platform in Retrospect (1985), Liberal Judaism and Halakhah (1988), The Second Book of the Bible: Exodus Interpreted by Benno Jacob (1992), The Healing Past - Pharmaceuticals in the Biblical and Rabbinic World (1993) Die Exegese hat das erste Wort (2002), Pursuing Peace Across the Alleghenies (2005), Hesed and Tzedakah - From the Bible to Modernity (2006); Napoleonís Influence on Jewish Law (2007), and more than twelve hundred published essays and sermons.

Rachel S. Mikva is rabbi of the Community Synagogue in Rye, New York. She is a member of the Responsa Committee and editor of Broken Tablets: Restoring the Ten Commandments and Ourselves (1990), and Mahshavot, A Journal of the Chicago Board of Rabbis (1992B 97) as well as the author of various essays and reviews.

John Rayner is Lecturer in Liturgy and Codes at the Leo Baeck College, London and rabbi emeritus of the Liberal Synagogue in London. He is the author of Understanding Judaism (1996), A Jewish Understanding of the World (1997), Jewish Religious Law: A Progressive Perspective (1999), and many essays. He has been a major contributor to the creation of British and American liturgies.

Moshe Zemer is Director of the Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah. He is a founder of the Movement for Progressive Judaism in Israel and founding rabbi of the Kedem Synagogue-Bet Daniel, Tel Aviv. He is Av Bet Din of the Israel Council of Progressive Rabbis and Senior Lecturer in Rabbinic at Hebrew Union College, Jerusalem. He has also contributed numerous articles on halakhah in the Israeli press and scientific journals. He is author of The Sane Halakhah (1993).

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