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New York - Jews Should Be More Active In "eco-friendly movements" It's a Mitzvah

Published on: August 20, 2009 10:11 AM
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New York -As an Orthodox “black hat” Jew, I was brought up with the concept of bal tashchit. This means, “not to waste”.

For example, if a child is eating his dinner and he throws his unwanted portion on the floor, his mother might say: “Do not throw your food away, it is bal tashchit”; i.e., wasting food for no reason. This notion is not limited to food. For example, giving a baby a full box of tissues for him or her to pull out and destroy is also considered to be bal tashchit, as it is wasting tissues that could be used for a purpose.

The concept actually comes from the Torah (Deuteronomy 20:19), “It is forbidden to destroy a tree that bears fruit because you may eat from the fruit and benefit from it.” Our rabbis extend this law to include any wasteful or destructive act that will harm things that are useful to man.

So, a question comes to mind. How is it that the Orthodox communities are not activists and leaders in the eco-friendly movements? They ultimately agree on this subject 100 percent. Whether they see eye-to-eye about the subject of climate change and global warming is irrelevant. What’s important here is that they concur when it comes to the issue of not being wasteful.

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I believe that recycling and renewable energy will be extremely beneficial to our environment, and that these two concepts should be the focal point of bal tashchit, not wasting. After all, the fundamental law of not wasting applies to the world and all its riches.

Take metal, for instance. It can be reused countless times. So every single piece of tin foil - and not only metal cans, broken scissors, etc. - should be recycled. This way, we would not be wasting materials; we would be reusing them to their full capacity.

Moving on to renewable energy. In 1981 the Lubavitcher Rebbe publicly said there is an open and clear way to energy independence, which is solar energy and how we should tap into the power from the healing sun. The Rebbe also said that we should not be scared of those who oppose this notion, because they have personal interests in other energies (not renewable ones) that might be more profitable for their own wallets.

Therefore, it is mind boggling to me that the Orthodox communities are not the leaders in the “green” movements. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying they are not involved at all, but I think it is fair to say they are far from the leaders; and this truly puzzles me.

After all is said and done, the Torah teaches that Man must not destroy and not be wasteful, and there is no better way to observe this than recycling and using renewable energy.

And with this I lay a challenge to every single Torah-observing home to think twice before throwing something in the garbage.

Rabbi Hanoch Hecht is the spiritual leader of the Rhinebeck NY Jewish Center and director of Chabad Dutchess.



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Read Comments (66)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Aug 20, 2009 at 09:17 AM Anonymous Says:

I propose everyone shud breathe into a bag and then breathe the same air again so not to waste any air!

2

 Aug 20, 2009 at 09:43 AM Chaim S. Says:

Comment #1 by an obvious moron aside, Rabbi Hecht is very right about what he writes. We know that Chazal say that one who throws away bread crumbs will incur consequences. You can feed the bread crumbs to the birds. OK somewhat irrelevant maybe in modern society but the lesson from Chazal is not to waste. Besides the obvious fact that you can save hundreds of dollars a year in electric bills by using the new highly energy efficient bulbs, you're also conserving energy and less oil used. Not buying huge gas guzzling clunkers would also help. Of course conservation and being "green" is a part of Yiddishkeit.

3

 Aug 20, 2009 at 09:41 AM Anonymous Says:

Who said jews are not eco friendly my grandfather washes out his plastic cups?

4

 Aug 20, 2009 at 09:39 AM Anonymous Says:

I'm sure there will be the usual sarcastic and cynical comments (i.e. hashem gave us the earth and all therein so we can use it any way we wish without regard to long term consequences since when moishiach comes he will fix global warming, pollution, etc.). Alternatively, we can behave as the article suggests and adopt some of the principles of groups like TIkun Olam and others (while ignoring those aspect of their agenda we find offensive on religious grounds).

5

 Aug 20, 2009 at 09:47 AM Anonymous Says:

My mother would never say, "Do not throw your food away, it is bal tashchitenergy independence, which is solar energy". What does that even mean?

6

 Aug 20, 2009 at 09:37 AM Anonymous Says:

Dont waste your wrods any more!

7

 Aug 20, 2009 at 09:32 AM Anonymous Says:

For your information in Wiiansburg and Boro Park ther are organzations if you call them, that come at the end of the chasuna and take the left over food to give to the aniyim.

8

 Aug 20, 2009 at 09:31 AM Anonymous Says:

Non renewable fuel are not bal tashchit as they are being used appropriately just as eating food is not bal tashchit. If you wish to discuss if there is environmental impact that is another discussion .

By the way black hat orthodox ashkenazim say Bal Tashchis with an "s"

9

 Aug 20, 2009 at 09:30 AM Yosef Says:

What does "Bal Tashchit' have to do with the man-made, politically-driven so-called "green movements?" If one doesn't throw a can of soda into a recycling bin, he's not over on the Lav of "Lo Tashchit."

10

 Aug 20, 2009 at 09:30 AM Anonymous Says:

Rabbi Hecht,

Baal Tashchis stems from Hakoras HaTov, not from loss of unrenewable resources. My mother never told me that holding the fridge door open is Baal Tashchis, but that it is inefficient use of cooling/heating.

My personal position on global warming, population explosion, fossil fuels etc is summed up by something I say whenever I bench: Uvtuvo Hagadol Tamid Lo Chasar Lanu VAL YECHSAR LANU MAZON LOLAM VAED. That we will never run out of resources. If we chas vshalom run short of whale blubber for lighting the electric light is invented.

Yes, do not waste - but don't jump on a politicaly correct bandwagon.

11

 Aug 20, 2009 at 09:30 AM chief doofis Says:

I once addressed a group of secular Jews. They asked me about Orthodox children and their commitment to the environment. My answer impressed them greatly. "Every Orthodox bar mitzva boy / bat mitzva girl, undertakes to avoid driving 1/7 of every week, plus about 7 - 10 additional days every year.".

While of course, one should not deliberately squander natural resources, our refraining from driving, reduction in the use of appliances, purchasing products with non biodegradable packaging, etc. at least 60 days each year, is most impressive. Can you imagine 300 million Americans reducing their "carbon footprint" by over 16%?

11

 Aug 20, 2009 at 09:49 AM mendelbomb Says:

Sefer Hachinuch on the mitzva of "oso v'es bno" - the prohibition of slaughtering a mother and calf in the same day, says this mitzva is to teach us Midas hachemlo, the idea of conservation, that we should not abuse natures resources.

Hatzlacha Rabbi Hecht and Tzivi

12

 Aug 20, 2009 at 10:02 AM Anonymous Says:

Once yiddin understand that hashem will judge them for trashing the earth and the environment he created during briyas h'oalm. Its not about being "politically correct". It is about daas torah and the multiple issurim that flow from knowingly destroying or degrading hashem's creations.

13

 Aug 20, 2009 at 09:58 AM anon Says:

Destroying all those "clunkers" is also bal tashchit!

If this president gets the health care he wants, there will be bal tashchit of people too.

14

 Aug 20, 2009 at 10:20 AM thinking straight Says:

the whole thing of global warning and the so called green movement is big lie made up by liberals (like al gore with other)its junk science at best, and keneged hatorah.

15

 Aug 20, 2009 at 11:12 AM Anonymous Says:

"Therefore, it is mind boggling to me that the Orthodox communities are not the leaders in the "green" movements. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying they are not involved at all, but I think it is fair to say they are far from the leaders; and this truly puzzles me."

Is your name, by any chance: Al Gore?!

This whole so-called ""green" movement" and environmentalist's has become a religion in itself...better an Avodah Zarah created by the Atheist Liberal movement...it's not even based on factual science, its mainly theories, they pick and choose whatever fits into their agenda...All scientists who argue, are silenced by that particular movement, it has become nothing less than a crusade!

16

 Aug 20, 2009 at 10:56 AM lomzer Dayan Says:

Reply to #11  
mendelbomb Says:

Sefer Hachinuch on the mitzva of "oso v'es bno" - the prohibition of slaughtering a mother and calf in the same day, says this mitzva is to teach us Midas hachemlo, the idea of conservation, that we should not abuse natures resources.

Hatzlacha Rabbi Hecht and Tzivi


I dont get that!?
What does Chemlah -Pity on a mother/baby have to do with Conservation ?( which also includes eugenics-family planning population "control"etc. etc.)
Nothing Yiddesh about this at all,
Lets not copy the World blindly

17

 Aug 20, 2009 at 10:52 AM yasher koach Says:

Thank you Rabbi Hecht for saying it as it is. Yes ignore the political agendas and respect Hashems earth, and use the resources properly - yes renewable energy is included in not doing bal tashchis. Maybe frum schools should be more careful of their use of things like styrafoam when serving lunch.

18

 Aug 20, 2009 at 10:48 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
mendelbomb Says:

Sefer Hachinuch on the mitzva of "oso v'es bno" - the prohibition of slaughtering a mother and calf in the same day, says this mitzva is to teach us Midas hachemlo, the idea of conservation, that we should not abuse natures resources.

Hatzlacha Rabbi Hecht and Tzivi

"Midas hachemlo" does not mean conservation!

19

 Aug 20, 2009 at 10:34 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

Once yiddin understand that hashem will judge them for trashing the earth and the environment he created during briyas h'oalm. Its not about being "politically correct". It is about daas torah and the multiple issurim that flow from knowingly destroying or degrading hashem's creations.

Hey if that is the case what happens on sukkos when we use the lulav and esrog and eating in the sukkah. we are using natural resources that die out. and what about the bonfires that we make on lag baomer?

20

 Aug 20, 2009 at 11:24 AM tired of holier than thou attitude Says:

In Baltimore, the orthodox community was in an uproar over the decision to change garbage pickup to only once a week and to limit the size of the trash can. The complaints were incredible...people upset that a family with numerous children needs makes more garbage output. People were furious as suggestions that they should recycle....cutting down their garbage load. The amount of plasticware used and thrown away on shabbos is disgusting. The orthodox community for the most part stated that city had the chutzpa to suggest they recycle. People claimed it took "too much time". As a member of this community, I was so embarrased by the frum lack of concern for the environment and the ridiculous "me, me...what's convenient for me" attitude. My large family started to recycle cardboard food boxes, cans, bottlesm newspapers etc...it takes a few minutes, the kids do it and we make at least half the garbage we used to.....stop being so holier than thou and downright lazy!!!!!

21

 Aug 20, 2009 at 10:30 AM Anonymous Says:

You're right but only up to a point. We don't drive, but we still use packaged goods, electricity etc. on Shabbos & Yom Tov. Sometimes we use more than we need by leaving lights & burners on, other times we set a timer & might save energy, even if we might end up not have it on exactly when we want it. We also save 7 days a week if we don't have that 32" TV...

22

 Aug 20, 2009 at 11:53 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
tired of holier than thou attitude Says:

In Baltimore, the orthodox community was in an uproar over the decision to change garbage pickup to only once a week and to limit the size of the trash can. The complaints were incredible...people upset that a family with numerous children needs makes more garbage output. People were furious as suggestions that they should recycle....cutting down their garbage load. The amount of plasticware used and thrown away on shabbos is disgusting. The orthodox community for the most part stated that city had the chutzpa to suggest they recycle. People claimed it took "too much time". As a member of this community, I was so embarrased by the frum lack of concern for the environment and the ridiculous "me, me...what's convenient for me" attitude. My large family started to recycle cardboard food boxes, cans, bottlesm newspapers etc...it takes a few minutes, the kids do it and we make at least half the garbage we used to.....stop being so holier than thou and downright lazy!!!!!

The City of Baltimore told these frumme yidden they would have to learn to live with once a week garbage pickup based on both the city's financial concerns and the large issue of recycling. If they don't wish to recycle and cut down on their garbage they will simply have to learn to live with their filth and smells in their homes for a few days longer each week. Their comments were an embarrasment to all jews and hopefully they have learned the importance of an environmental ethic.

23

 Aug 20, 2009 at 11:47 AM OMG Says:

At a first glance, any reader who has some knowledge of science will read these posts and smile, but after some evaluation, I concluded that the lack of science study is the root of all orthodox problems, their inability to differentiate between some detractors and urgings, which side is really based on science. If you do not study, the basic science how would you be able to make an informed decision. It is not wise to argue with someone who lacks the basics, sorry sitting and being engaged only in pilpil that will not help you to understand science, the only thing they could compete on, who would come up with the most ridicules proof that there is no global warming. Thank God there are hundreds of millions of none orthodox Jews or none Jews alike, who get the proper education and understand the basics of science, which are willing to fight for an eco-friendly movement for the ones who lack the basics.

25

 Aug 20, 2009 at 12:35 PM tzoorba Says:

Reply to #23  
OMG Says:

At a first glance, any reader who has some knowledge of science will read these posts and smile, but after some evaluation, I concluded that the lack of science study is the root of all orthodox problems, their inability to differentiate between some detractors and urgings, which side is really based on science. If you do not study, the basic science how would you be able to make an informed decision. It is not wise to argue with someone who lacks the basics, sorry sitting and being engaged only in pilpil that will not help you to understand science, the only thing they could compete on, who would come up with the most ridicules proof that there is no global warming. Thank God there are hundreds of millions of none orthodox Jews or none Jews alike, who get the proper education and understand the basics of science, which are willing to fight for an eco-friendly movement for the ones who lack the basics.

I have a degree in Physics and I believe that global warning is total nonsense and a ruse to drive the most extreme environmental insanity.

The majority of informed scientists are not fooled by the manipulations of Gore and his cronies. The ones who study pilpul know better.

26

 Aug 20, 2009 at 12:29 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
tired of holier than thou attitude Says:

In Baltimore, the orthodox community was in an uproar over the decision to change garbage pickup to only once a week and to limit the size of the trash can. The complaints were incredible...people upset that a family with numerous children needs makes more garbage output. People were furious as suggestions that they should recycle....cutting down their garbage load. The amount of plasticware used and thrown away on shabbos is disgusting. The orthodox community for the most part stated that city had the chutzpa to suggest they recycle. People claimed it took "too much time". As a member of this community, I was so embarrased by the frum lack of concern for the environment and the ridiculous "me, me...what's convenient for me" attitude. My large family started to recycle cardboard food boxes, cans, bottlesm newspapers etc...it takes a few minutes, the kids do it and we make at least half the garbage we used to.....stop being so holier than thou and downright lazy!!!!!

It was not the "orthodox community" as a whole. It was a small number of foolish and selfish familes who made a big shtink about the garbage pickup issue (literally and figuratively). Most of us understood what the City was trying to do and supported this economic and environmentally correct decision. Their comments (and their garbage) were equally offensive to the vast majority of jews in Baltimore.

27

 Aug 20, 2009 at 12:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23  
OMG Says:

At a first glance, any reader who has some knowledge of science will read these posts and smile, but after some evaluation, I concluded that the lack of science study is the root of all orthodox problems, their inability to differentiate between some detractors and urgings, which side is really based on science. If you do not study, the basic science how would you be able to make an informed decision. It is not wise to argue with someone who lacks the basics, sorry sitting and being engaged only in pilpil that will not help you to understand science, the only thing they could compete on, who would come up with the most ridicules proof that there is no global warming. Thank God there are hundreds of millions of none orthodox Jews or none Jews alike, who get the proper education and understand the basics of science, which are willing to fight for an eco-friendly movement for the ones who lack the basics.

Hate to break it to you. But if you would be familiar with the basics of scientific experimentation and research , you would be aware of how flawed the science of global warming is. You might want to research the science community that doesn't think it exists and for that matter those that do think it exists are actually embarrassed by the hysteria out there as the concerns are really highly exaggerated..

By the way in a number of years the sun will be too cool to warm the earth and maintain life... Bet it keeps you up at night!

28

 Aug 20, 2009 at 12:49 PM Confused Says:

To all of the above comments:

Did Rabbi Hecht discuss global warming? NO. What he is addressing is the more efficient use of G-D's creations and world, which should concern anyone who is concerned with respecting G-D, as it says in Pirkei Avos, Chapter 5 Mishnah 1,

" The world was created with ten utterances; What does this come to teach us? Had the world not been able to be created in utterance? Rather, to discredit the wicked who that destroy the world which was ceated in ten utterances; and to give reward to the righteous that sustain the world which was created in ten utterances."

This Mishnah, is obviously talking about a destruction and sustenance due to a judgement of the world as a whole, as Maimonides says, "envision the world as a scale, every deed that you do could tip the scale in favor of the world and sustainit, or G-D forbid.....".

However, a person wlso has to do his part to sustain the woerld and not abuse it. if you would like to leave everything up to Hashem, don't get a job, don't even worry about it, he will provide, no? yes, NO he will not provide UNLESS you create a physical vessel through which to channel G-D's abundant good and blessing.

PEACE BROTHERS!
just kidding.but the rest of the comment is meant to be taken seriously.

29

 Aug 20, 2009 at 01:17 PM G Says:

this is a very good article - and abt time to be addressed........this concern of not wasting or even of ways to keep the environment "green" is of true importance and more of us should be caring and giving of our time and engergy to make sure we do our part

30

 Aug 20, 2009 at 01:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
tired of holier than thou attitude Says:

In Baltimore, the orthodox community was in an uproar over the decision to change garbage pickup to only once a week and to limit the size of the trash can. The complaints were incredible...people upset that a family with numerous children needs makes more garbage output. People were furious as suggestions that they should recycle....cutting down their garbage load. The amount of plasticware used and thrown away on shabbos is disgusting. The orthodox community for the most part stated that city had the chutzpa to suggest they recycle. People claimed it took "too much time". As a member of this community, I was so embarrased by the frum lack of concern for the environment and the ridiculous "me, me...what's convenient for me" attitude. My large family started to recycle cardboard food boxes, cans, bottlesm newspapers etc...it takes a few minutes, the kids do it and we make at least half the garbage we used to.....stop being so holier than thou and downright lazy!!!!!

"In Baltimore, the orthodox community was in an uproar over the decision to change garbage pickup to only once a week and to limit the size of the trash can."

The Jewish community in Baltimore was almost universally supportive of the change in the City's trash pickup policy. See, for example, the following brief excerpt from an Editorial on july 15th in the Baltimore Jewish Times...



It only takes a few minutes to toss paper, plastic, and metal waste into another bin. Done. Then the City can sell our trash instead of having to pay a vendor to dump it in a land fill. Not only are we saving money for the City (and essentially all of us tax payers), but we are preventing tons of waste from pilling up in landfills, saving energy and helping the environment. Sounds like a universal application of Jewish values to me.

That’s what makes it so puzzling that some Orthodox Jews in the city were against the new regulations. ....We all hate change, we’re all very busy. Still, we make time to study Torah and perform various mitzvot. Taking care of God’s creation also is high up on the lists of commandments. We take time to look at labels to ensure the proper hechsher (kosher certification). It takes the same amount of time to see which bin your trash goes in.

Let’s help our planet, and let’s help Baltimore City taxpayers in one swoop. Recycle. As often as possible.

31

 Aug 20, 2009 at 02:16 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #25  
tzoorba Says:

I have a degree in Physics and I believe that global warning is total nonsense and a ruse to drive the most extreme environmental insanity.

The majority of informed scientists are not fooled by the manipulations of Gore and his cronies. The ones who study pilpul know better.

Sorry, but global warming is a *fact*. There is absolutely no doubt that the earth has gotten warmer than it was 125 years ago. People who don't accept this are like the people who think cigarette smoking doesn't cause lung cancer, that HIV doesn't cause AIDS, or that vaccines cause autism. No scientist who has seen the data disagrees with this. The scientific question is the degree to which human activity caused the warming.

32

 Aug 20, 2009 at 02:09 PM OMG Says:

Reply to #27  
Anonymous Says:

Hate to break it to you. But if you would be familiar with the basics of scientific experimentation and research , you would be aware of how flawed the science of global warming is. You might want to research the science community that doesn't think it exists and for that matter those that do think it exists are actually embarrassed by the hysteria out there as the concerns are really highly exaggerated..

By the way in a number of years the sun will be too cool to warm the earth and maintain life... Bet it keeps you up at night!

Sorry at least you sound like you know what you’re talking about but the fact speaks for itself in the last year or so even the few skeptics agreed that global warming is actually occurring in an unusual high rate, now don’t point to one or two so called scientist who still promulgate their view they remind me of the Church it took them hundreds of years to admit that the earth is round, even today as I type this post there are groups of people who belong to the Flat Earth Society, so you should join them to.
By the way you know what keeps me up at night, believe it or not, why nobody did anything to help the Jews during the Nazi era, and what we should learn form it. Not global warming

33

 Aug 20, 2009 at 01:55 PM Chacham Mah Nishtanah Says:

Actually there is a Mitzvah, as G-d sent Adam L'ovdoh Ulshimroh, which implies that man has to protect earth. See Rabeinu Bachyei. But that is when it's done in reswc of G-d. Most envioromentalist do it because of "Kochi Votzem Yodi", with an Atheist theory, and Chas Vsholom to join them!
Also why is he worried about this Mizvah more than many other Mitzvos. Chilul Shabbos, Shmittah & other Aveiros are mentioned explicitly in the Torah to cause distruction to Israel. So worry about these true worries.

34

 Aug 20, 2009 at 01:11 PM Raphael Kaufman Says:

Reply to #20  
tired of holier than thou attitude Says:

In Baltimore, the orthodox community was in an uproar over the decision to change garbage pickup to only once a week and to limit the size of the trash can. The complaints were incredible...people upset that a family with numerous children needs makes more garbage output. People were furious as suggestions that they should recycle....cutting down their garbage load. The amount of plasticware used and thrown away on shabbos is disgusting. The orthodox community for the most part stated that city had the chutzpa to suggest they recycle. People claimed it took "too much time". As a member of this community, I was so embarrased by the frum lack of concern for the environment and the ridiculous "me, me...what's convenient for me" attitude. My large family started to recycle cardboard food boxes, cans, bottlesm newspapers etc...it takes a few minutes, the kids do it and we make at least half the garbage we used to.....stop being so holier than thou and downright lazy!!!!!

A couple of observations:
1. If recycling is such a good idea, they should pay you for it. Things like cars, appliances etc. aren't "recycled". They're sold as used or as scrap. If Ramapo wants me to "recycle" they can pay me or give me a tax rebate.

2. The problem with the article and with the "Green Movement" is that most of the proponents, Rabbi Hecht included, do not possess the technical and scientific knowledge to understand the actual ecological remifications of their programs. For Rabbi Hecht and others, being "green" feels good. They can pat themselves on the back and think what fine fellows they are. A previous poster commented that environmentalism is a shtickle avodas zorah in that many take the pronouncements of people like Al Gore (who, by the way, is a true moron) as halacha Moshe m'Sinai. The truth about threats to the environment aren't so clear. Here are a few things for # 20 to ponder.

The largest and most presistant constituent in landfills is not plastic but paper. Buried paper does not decompose and remain intact in landfills for over 100 years. Plastic bags take up far less space.

Polyethelene takes less energy and much less water to produce than does paper. Plastic bags actually save energy.

The decomposition of organic waste in landfills creates carbon dioxide and methane gas which are vented off. If you drive by the landfill you will see little PVC pipes sticking up all over the hill. They are discharging "greenhous gases" into the atmosphere. The gas could be recovered and burned to produce electricity.

In my business (engineering) we say that there "ain't no such thing as a free lunch". Every decision involves cost/benefit analysis. Things like "renewable energy", like all technology, has to be thought through to identify the actual cost and to determine if the result is worth it. Things like wind power and solar power make sense in some contexts and not in others. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but not every opinion is worth listening to.

35

 Aug 20, 2009 at 01:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #30  
Anonymous Says:

"In Baltimore, the orthodox community was in an uproar over the decision to change garbage pickup to only once a week and to limit the size of the trash can."

The Jewish community in Baltimore was almost universally supportive of the change in the City's trash pickup policy. See, for example, the following brief excerpt from an Editorial on july 15th in the Baltimore Jewish Times...



It only takes a few minutes to toss paper, plastic, and metal waste into another bin. Done. Then the City can sell our trash instead of having to pay a vendor to dump it in a land fill. Not only are we saving money for the City (and essentially all of us tax payers), but we are preventing tons of waste from pilling up in landfills, saving energy and helping the environment. Sounds like a universal application of Jewish values to me.

That’s what makes it so puzzling that some Orthodox Jews in the city were against the new regulations. ....We all hate change, we’re all very busy. Still, we make time to study Torah and perform various mitzvot. Taking care of God’s creation also is high up on the lists of commandments. We take time to look at labels to ensure the proper hechsher (kosher certification). It takes the same amount of time to see which bin your trash goes in.

Let’s help our planet, and let’s help Baltimore City taxpayers in one swoop. Recycle. As often as possible.

Correction: this was a column and NOT an editorial. Sorry for the misrepresentation.

36

 Aug 20, 2009 at 03:08 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #30  
Anonymous Says:

"In Baltimore, the orthodox community was in an uproar over the decision to change garbage pickup to only once a week and to limit the size of the trash can."

The Jewish community in Baltimore was almost universally supportive of the change in the City's trash pickup policy. See, for example, the following brief excerpt from an Editorial on july 15th in the Baltimore Jewish Times...



It only takes a few minutes to toss paper, plastic, and metal waste into another bin. Done. Then the City can sell our trash instead of having to pay a vendor to dump it in a land fill. Not only are we saving money for the City (and essentially all of us tax payers), but we are preventing tons of waste from pilling up in landfills, saving energy and helping the environment. Sounds like a universal application of Jewish values to me.

That’s what makes it so puzzling that some Orthodox Jews in the city were against the new regulations. ....We all hate change, we’re all very busy. Still, we make time to study Torah and perform various mitzvot. Taking care of God’s creation also is high up on the lists of commandments. We take time to look at labels to ensure the proper hechsher (kosher certification). It takes the same amount of time to see which bin your trash goes in.

Let’s help our planet, and let’s help Baltimore City taxpayers in one swoop. Recycle. As often as possible.

for the amount of taxes i have to pay in this farshtunke town, 2x/week trash collection should be the least i get. Oh well, maybe one day i'll be able to actually sell my house in the city for the amount i paid for it, and be able to move ranchleigh in the county...which is probably where you live. Dont preach to me!

37

 Aug 20, 2009 at 02:45 PM OMG Says:

Reply to #25  
tzoorba Says:

I have a degree in Physics and I believe that global warning is total nonsense and a ruse to drive the most extreme environmental insanity.

The majority of informed scientists are not fooled by the manipulations of Gore and his cronies. The ones who study pilpul know better.

I don’t have to take just your word, the mere fact that nearly all scientist agree with the proposition that the earth is warming and the only disagreement is can humans make a difference, and you just calmly claim that it “is total nonsense and a ruse” without even any caveat tells me that you are either impersonating and putting yourself forward as Physicist or you are just so engrossed into your field that you did not even have the time to catch-up with the rest of the sciences disciplines. Finally from all your previous posting on all different issues I could conclude that you’re immersed in the far right propaganda, therefore any argument you put forward is suspect.

38

 Aug 20, 2009 at 04:46 PM chayoshakoidesh Says:

Going green is a concept of evildoers!.. It is born from the fear that al pi "tevah" the world will b destroyed unless we "activaly" save it... Shtusssim!!!!!! There is no such future in the prophets! No such power in man!! And u wonder y the rabbis don't get involved in this heresy!!!!!!!!! Woo unto people who think that they can destroy this planet!

39

 Aug 20, 2009 at 04:41 PM Anonymous Says:

You can compost your produce scraps, you can reuse aluminum foil and plastic bags several times, but, I don't get too carried away by the environmentalists, because Hashem created this world and is the one who is ultimately in charge and He will take care of us.

40

 Aug 20, 2009 at 04:36 PM formally Says:

if we do not take car of global warming, in a hundred years or so when things start getting bad

there will be screams . g-d is warning us do tuhva now. or it is the gays or whatever in bothering the religious of that time Jew and non jew

41

 Aug 20, 2009 at 04:31 PM Gabbai Rishon Says:

I think the article is very timely and thought-provoking. I agree that Orthodox Jews should pay more attention to respect for the environment. I have often thought that our Rabbis should stress this important ethic, and have discussed with several why there appeared to be indifference to the environment in Halakhic discussions. The only cogent answer I have ever received is that Jews have traditionally regarded the natural environment as hostile to them and therefore something that had to be tamed rather than appreciated.

Another question I have often raised with Rabbis is whether a Torah-observant Jew is allowed to believe in the extravagant predictions of global catastrophe due to global warming. HaShem promised Noach, after he emerged from the Ark, that there would always be seasons and that He would never again visit destruction on the Earth. Can I accept this and accept the Gore version of the effects of global warming?

42

 Aug 20, 2009 at 05:17 PM OMG Says:

Reply to #38  
chayoshakoidesh Says:

Going green is a concept of evildoers!.. It is born from the fear that al pi "tevah" the world will b destroyed unless we "activaly" save it... Shtusssim!!!!!! There is no such future in the prophets! No such power in man!! And u wonder y the rabbis don't get involved in this heresy!!!!!!!!! Woo unto people who think that they can destroy this planet!

Based on your deep analyst, we might as well let every terrorist nation/group have nuclear / biological / chemical weapons, according to your insight humans cannot and will not destroy this world without the prophecies, you see, I believe that humans are capable of the worst, if only given the opportunity.

I have respect for the rules that VIN instituted, therefore I will reframe from calling you a derogatory name.

43

 Aug 20, 2009 at 05:08 PM tzoorba Says:

Reply to #37  
OMG Says:

I don’t have to take just your word, the mere fact that nearly all scientist agree with the proposition that the earth is warming and the only disagreement is can humans make a difference, and you just calmly claim that it “is total nonsense and a ruse” without even any caveat tells me that you are either impersonating and putting yourself forward as Physicist or you are just so engrossed into your field that you did not even have the time to catch-up with the rest of the sciences disciplines. Finally from all your previous posting on all different issues I could conclude that you’re immersed in the far right propaganda, therefore any argument you put forward is suspect.

It is clear from all your postings that you subscribe to a radical Left wing point of view. It's time you switched to the reasonable and logical right wing viewpoint.

Your claim that the majority of scientists agree to Gore's hyper science fiction is a product of following the Left wing party line. If you do an honest search of the scientific community's viewpoint on this, you will find them at the minimum deeply divided. You have been reading Kos too much.

I can show you my degree magna cum laude from a local college.

The advocate's cure of the problems is environmentalism on steroids which would destroy America in very short order.

44

 Aug 20, 2009 at 05:20 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #36  
Anonymous Says:

for the amount of taxes i have to pay in this farshtunke town, 2x/week trash collection should be the least i get. Oh well, maybe one day i'll be able to actually sell my house in the city for the amount i paid for it, and be able to move ranchleigh in the county...which is probably where you live. Dont preach to me!

i live in ranchleigh...bet we're neighbors...sorry about your attitude....

45

 Aug 20, 2009 at 05:20 PM formally Says:

Reply to #41  
Gabbai Rishon Says:

I think the article is very timely and thought-provoking. I agree that Orthodox Jews should pay more attention to respect for the environment. I have often thought that our Rabbis should stress this important ethic, and have discussed with several why there appeared to be indifference to the environment in Halakhic discussions. The only cogent answer I have ever received is that Jews have traditionally regarded the natural environment as hostile to them and therefore something that had to be tamed rather than appreciated.

Another question I have often raised with Rabbis is whether a Torah-observant Jew is allowed to believe in the extravagant predictions of global catastrophe due to global warming. HaShem promised Noach, after he emerged from the Ark, that there would always be seasons and that He would never again visit destruction on the Earth. Can I accept this and accept the Gore version of the effects of global warming?

global warming will not destroy earth on mankind

46

 Aug 20, 2009 at 04:17 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #32  
OMG Says:

Sorry at least you sound like you know what you’re talking about but the fact speaks for itself in the last year or so even the few skeptics agreed that global warming is actually occurring in an unusual high rate, now don’t point to one or two so called scientist who still promulgate their view they remind me of the Church it took them hundreds of years to admit that the earth is round, even today as I type this post there are groups of people who belong to the Flat Earth Society, so you should join them to.
By the way you know what keeps me up at night, believe it or not, why nobody did anything to help the Jews during the Nazi era, and what we should learn form it. Not global warming

Actually, orthodox jews did a real lot in holacust rescue work as well as the revisionist's,as well as good goyim in the WRB ,for example.The problem with global warming is i beleive it's from HASHEM,not man.

47

 Aug 20, 2009 at 05:55 PM shmuel s. Says:

I live in Baltimore and candidly I was appalled by the reaction of the Torah community to the recycling rules - you'd think that today it was recycling and tomorrow they were going to outlaw shabbos and bris mila. The community at large lost an opportunity to make a huge kiddush Hashem by taking a leadership role in this otherwise innocuous legislation. Further, for a city which prides itself on the amount of kiruv it does, it missed a huge opportunity to incorporate the recycling effort into the Kiruv effort. Imagine your garden-variety college kid comes to shabbos dinner and the tatty is discussing Borer with his kids and the problems inherent in recycling on shabbos. That guest will go home with a positive feeling and it will go a long way towards bringing someone who's been brought up with the organic lifestyle into the fold.

48

 Aug 20, 2009 at 05:30 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #45  
formally Says:

global warming will not destroy earth on mankind

“global warming will not destroy earth only mankind”

49

 Aug 20, 2009 at 05:57 PM OMG Says:

Reply to #46  
Anonymous Says:

Actually, orthodox jews did a real lot in holacust rescue work as well as the revisionist's,as well as good goyim in the WRB ,for example.The problem with global warming is i beleive it's from HASHEM,not man.

I think you misunderstood what I meant in my comment about the holocaust; it was not a dig at anyone. But an honest reply that global warming doesn’t keep me up at night, but since I was a young man that answers eluded me.

50

 Aug 20, 2009 at 05:50 PM shmuel s. Says:

I am heavily involved in the Jewish environmental movement from a pure Torah perspective. Many of the commentators above miss the point completely. I speak all over the world on Jewish environmental topics and I am always asked why it is not a cause célèbre for the Orthodox community. I've come up with two answers. Firstly, there is an educational shortage in mainstream Jewish environmental education -- everything is tikun olam, bal tashchis and tazaar baalei chayim. Unfortunately my experience has been that these translate into a) an amorphous social action agenda -- save the whales, Darfur etc. b) bal tashchis is used to invest the natural earth with some sort of independent rights beyond man's needs and C.) this becomes a thinly veiled slogan with a Jewish flavor for animal rights.
Secondly, unfortunately the liberal left has hijacked and co-opted environmentalism within the broad liberal agenda within which many things are simply unacceptable to Torah Jews -- civil unions and gay marriage is for example. Quite understandably, most Torah Jews have neither the time or the patience to unbundle this agenda and salvage things to which there is a bona fide Torah basis -- they end up throwing out many good babies with some profoundly objectionable bathwater.

51

 Aug 20, 2009 at 05:42 PM OMG Says:

Reply to #43  
tzoorba Says:

It is clear from all your postings that you subscribe to a radical Left wing point of view. It's time you switched to the reasonable and logical right wing viewpoint.

Your claim that the majority of scientists agree to Gore's hyper science fiction is a product of following the Left wing party line. If you do an honest search of the scientific community's viewpoint on this, you will find them at the minimum deeply divided. You have been reading Kos too much.

I can show you my degree magna cum laude from a local college.

The advocate's cure of the problems is environmentalism on steroids which would destroy America in very short order.

You see, I never championed Gore’s view or anybody else view how to solve the issue, I only called out your blanked assertion it that “is total nonsense and a ruse” at least in this post you admitted (albeit under duress, being called out) that there are various views on the solution, by the way my view is that natural selection would take care of the human race.

By the way I don’t need KOS or Fox to mould my views Hashem gave me the ability to distinguish between hyperbola and reality.

52

 Aug 20, 2009 at 05:38 PM shmuel s. Says:

Hashem may have promised that He would not destroy the world but I don't recall the Torah telling us that Hashem would keep us from damaging it. "Shomer pisaim Hashem" is pretty shaky theology, if you ask me.

53

 Aug 20, 2009 at 08:37 PM Anonymous Says:

former NASA Senior Research Scientist Dr. Leonard Weinstein wrote a artical, the the whole global warming is a hoax.

google "global warming hoax" youll be suprised.. you will see what the scientific community really thinks about global warming..

54

 Aug 20, 2009 at 07:43 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #48  
Anonymous Says:

“global warming will not destroy earth only mankind”

sure it will after all those rising ocean levels...

al gore gave us how many years?? I think we still got only six...

its a pure power grab by the left.. its a way to expand power.. when shown the scientific proof that its a hoax, they say but to be on the sure side...... butwhen nationalizing health care, they 'jump' into it, maybe it will throw us in a deficit that wil make the current deficit seem as a surplus? no, lets do it! why?? cuz it expands the goverment.. the evil capitlists.... the Marxist Mentality... stupid, tried, and failed!!

55

 Aug 20, 2009 at 07:41 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #47  
shmuel s. Says:

I live in Baltimore and candidly I was appalled by the reaction of the Torah community to the recycling rules - you'd think that today it was recycling and tomorrow they were going to outlaw shabbos and bris mila. The community at large lost an opportunity to make a huge kiddush Hashem by taking a leadership role in this otherwise innocuous legislation. Further, for a city which prides itself on the amount of kiruv it does, it missed a huge opportunity to incorporate the recycling effort into the Kiruv effort. Imagine your garden-variety college kid comes to shabbos dinner and the tatty is discussing Borer with his kids and the problems inherent in recycling on shabbos. That guest will go home with a positive feeling and it will go a long way towards bringing someone who's been brought up with the organic lifestyle into the fold.

Just about every jew I know in the Baltimore area, other than the few obnoxious and lazy families who made so much noise about losing their twice weekly garbage pickup, were embarrassed beyond belief about this episode. Please don't judge the orthodox community in Baltimore by the disgusting behavior of these few.

56

 Aug 20, 2009 at 07:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #40  
formally Says:

if we do not take car of global warming, in a hundred years or so when things start getting bad

there will be screams . g-d is warning us do tuhva now. or it is the gays or whatever in bothering the religious of that time Jew and non jew

there are 600 scientests lots of them are well respected that have already dicredited the whole Global Warming Hoax..

its being advertised by the left.. it should be a scientific debate, not a political.. the scientists that have proven that its a hoax, are hushed...

do you also believe that we should stop haveing Babys?? cuz the world will become over populated???

57

 Aug 20, 2009 at 07:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23  
OMG Says:

At a first glance, any reader who has some knowledge of science will read these posts and smile, but after some evaluation, I concluded that the lack of science study is the root of all orthodox problems, their inability to differentiate between some detractors and urgings, which side is really based on science. If you do not study, the basic science how would you be able to make an informed decision. It is not wise to argue with someone who lacks the basics, sorry sitting and being engaged only in pilpil that will not help you to understand science, the only thing they could compete on, who would come up with the most ridicules proof that there is no global warming. Thank God there are hundreds of millions of none orthodox Jews or none Jews alike, who get the proper education and understand the basics of science, which are willing to fight for an eco-friendly movement for the ones who lack the basics.

these are some quotes from Dr. Leonard Weinstein , who worked 45 years at NASA, and retired as a Senior Research Scientist. Dr. Weinstein is presently a Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace. He is now a critic of the anthropogenic theory of global warming.

“Preparing for the possibility of an impending ice age along with the possible consequences of a reduction in Earth’s magnetic field are real concerns. Concern with relatively small effects of possible anthropogenic caused global warming is a misplaced distraction, and will probably lead to the public losing confidence in scientists, and could weaken the support needed when real problems occur.”

“Decreasing availability of oil and anthropogenic pollution (not greenhouse gasses) are real issues. Acid rain, smog, and dirty water sources do need to be fixed. The problems associated with high fuel prices, and dependence on sources of energy from possibly less than friendly foreign countries are critical. While we can’t solve the problems with a single magic bullet, more nuclear power plants, along with wind and Solar power, could fill much of the gap. There are solutions, but first we have to identify the correct problems.”

you can do more research and fill up YOUR lack of Science..

there are lots of sites, for example check out, globalwarminghoax.com

58

 Aug 20, 2009 at 09:30 PM Lomzer Dayan Says:

One Single volcano is far far more "warming" than total usage of the five largest countries combined! And we have hundreds recently .Google it
Also there is are natural forest fires/Mine fires etc. world wide that never go out they burn constantly', (don't believe me Google it) this its real
Hashem is the Master Designer .. SO don't you worry ! The sky is not falling !
Its the NWO crowd that is using this as an Excuse to organise a worldwide Tax and One world goverment , with reduced populations . Hashem Yishmor .

59

 Aug 20, 2009 at 10:01 PM OMG Says:

Reply to #57  
Anonymous Says:

these are some quotes from Dr. Leonard Weinstein , who worked 45 years at NASA, and retired as a Senior Research Scientist. Dr. Weinstein is presently a Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace. He is now a critic of the anthropogenic theory of global warming.

“Preparing for the possibility of an impending ice age along with the possible consequences of a reduction in Earth’s magnetic field are real concerns. Concern with relatively small effects of possible anthropogenic caused global warming is a misplaced distraction, and will probably lead to the public losing confidence in scientists, and could weaken the support needed when real problems occur.”

“Decreasing availability of oil and anthropogenic pollution (not greenhouse gasses) are real issues. Acid rain, smog, and dirty water sources do need to be fixed. The problems associated with high fuel prices, and dependence on sources of energy from possibly less than friendly foreign countries are critical. While we can’t solve the problems with a single magic bullet, more nuclear power plants, along with wind and Solar power, could fill much of the gap. There are solutions, but first we have to identify the correct problems.”

you can do more research and fill up YOUR lack of Science..

there are lots of sites, for example check out, globalwarminghoax.com

Why do you assume that I don’t know about Dr. Leonard Weinstein’s you know what assume cold be. The fact you are cite and quote Dr. Weinstein, you are halfway there, at least you worry about the next ice age, and believe that some man made disaster is possible, as to my view, I wrote already in a few previous posts that I am not an extreme fanatical environmentalist, but I do believe that whenever given an opportunity we should recycle and try to use alterative energy i.e. solar, wind, and even nuclear and whenever feasible be safe then sorry, and because I am not sticking my head in the sand like an ostrich I am not a far leftwing nut either.

60

 Aug 20, 2009 at 11:19 PM Alte Gore Says:

Reply to #59  
OMG Says:

Why do you assume that I don’t know about Dr. Leonard Weinstein’s you know what assume cold be. The fact you are cite and quote Dr. Weinstein, you are halfway there, at least you worry about the next ice age, and believe that some man made disaster is possible, as to my view, I wrote already in a few previous posts that I am not an extreme fanatical environmentalist, but I do believe that whenever given an opportunity we should recycle and try to use alterative energy i.e. solar, wind, and even nuclear and whenever feasible be safe then sorry, and because I am not sticking my head in the sand like an ostrich I am not a far leftwing nut either.

Good for you! As long as I could use my planes and light all the thousand lights of my mansion .....you can be busy occupying yourself with all your recycling and driving your hybrid car !! =}

61

 Aug 21, 2009 at 09:54 AM Solar Man Says:

Casey Stengel was not a great baseball player but he tremendous success as a manager. Likewise, who cares if Al Gore leaves the lights on in his mansion and flies in a private plane? It's the message that counts, not what he does in private life. As Momma used to say, do as I say and not as I do. Furthermore, I know people at JFK Airport who have seen Al Gore disembarking from commercial flights.

62

 Aug 21, 2009 at 01:32 PM mendelbomb Says:

Reply to #16  
lomzer Dayan Says:


I dont get that!?
What does Chemlah -Pity on a mother/baby have to do with Conservation ?( which also includes eugenics-family planning population "control"etc. etc.)
Nothing Yiddesh about this at all,
Lets not copy the World blindly

I stand corrected, my comment should read : sefer hachinuch says that this mitzva is to teach us the idea of conservation, that we should not abuse natures resources and Midas hachemlo - compassion." (Mitzva 394 Emor)

63

 Aug 21, 2009 at 12:22 PM chayoshakoidesh Says:

Reply to #42  
OMG Says:

Based on your deep analyst, we might as well let every terrorist nation/group have nuclear / biological / chemical weapons, according to your insight humans cannot and will not destroy this world without the prophecies, you see, I believe that humans are capable of the worst, if only given the opportunity.

I have respect for the rules that VIN instituted, therefore I will reframe from calling you a derogatory name.

Mr 42!...or omg...ill say it again.. listen this time. The FEAR of the end of the world through human hands is foooolishness :) especially bec. Of some gas or the sun blowing up or bla bla bla...nuclear weapons can do great damage..but they WILL not end this world... Read ur navi boy! Hashems grand plan will not b thwarted by car gas emmissions!! U go ahead and worry... U apparently don't think the creator has a hand in this world anymore! Bad can happen.. But tottal destruction is not in our power mr. Omg!!!

64

 Aug 22, 2009 at 08:39 PM OMG Says:

Reply to #60  
Alte Gore Says:

Good for you! As long as I could use my planes and light all the thousand lights of my mansion .....you can be busy occupying yourself with all your recycling and driving your hybrid car !! =}

Thanks

And your petro dollars will help the Persians / Iran, and Arabs finance Anti-Semitism, definitely a smart Jew

By the way looking forward to buying the new volt

65

 Aug 23, 2009 at 11:44 AM OMG Says:

Reply to #43  
tzoorba Says:

It is clear from all your postings that you subscribe to a radical Left wing point of view. It's time you switched to the reasonable and logical right wing viewpoint.

Your claim that the majority of scientists agree to Gore's hyper science fiction is a product of following the Left wing party line. If you do an honest search of the scientific community's viewpoint on this, you will find them at the minimum deeply divided. You have been reading Kos too much.

I can show you my degree magna cum laude from a local college.

The advocate's cure of the problems is environmentalism on steroids which would destroy America in very short order.

As usual, it is a rightwing method whenever they are called out on any issue and challenged with logical and proven evidence, they fail to respond and justify their position, and their drive by method is always on display for all to see.

66

 Aug 23, 2009 at 05:10 PM Solar Man Says:

One of the great myths perpetrated by the over-righteous right is that the whole science of global warming is an invention of Al Gore. Nothing could be further from the truth, for while it is Al Gore who has brought the most attention to this problem, the fact that the earth is warming up due to mankind's machinations with the environment was first suggested by a well-known and respected scientist of the late 19th century. I refer to Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927), a Swedish scientist who first propounded the theory of global warming in 1896, He formulated his greenhouse law. In its original form, Arrhenius' greenhouse law reads as follows:

If the quantity of carbonic acid increases in geometric progression, the augmentation of the temperature will increase nearly in arithmetic progression.

This simplified expression is still used today:

ΔF = α ln(C/C0)

67

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