Judaism and Global Survival
New Revised Edition, 2001
by Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.
About the Book:
This masterful volume by Dr. Richard Schwartz provides
a treasure of insights into the perspective of Judaism on many urgent social problems.
People committed to the vital force of the Jewish heritage will discover in this
work both richness of expression and creative application of old texts to new
situations. This volume can make a significant contribution to the shaping of
the social consciousness of our community.
Rabbi Saul J.
Professor of Jewish Studies
Stern College of Yeshiva University
Founder and Executive Director, Edah (modern Orthodox community organization)
who believes in Tikkun Olam will be strengthened by this rich compendium of Jewish
sources and ethical insights, which should stimulate many dialogues in the Jewish
community about critical issues. Everyone who wants to apply Jewish values to
the great concerns of our time will be nourished when they eat of this feast of
Jewish values and treasures that is spread before us.
President, Jewish Life Network
Founder, CLAL, National
Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
A superb task
of research, compilation, and writing.... [This] book brings to bear scholarly
insight in a way that is accessible to the interested lay person. The insights
and the values of the Jewish tradition regarding crucial social issues of our
time come alive in ... [this] presentation. Whether used as a textbook or as a
personal guide for Jews who care about making Jewish values live in our world,
this book makes a significant contribution to the modern understanding of Jewish
Rabbi David Saperstein
Counsel, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Schwartz has written a significant book that will raise the ecological conscience
of the reader, and he has supplied it with religious and secular erudition and
global relevance. It speaks with the unmistakable diction of the prophetic moral
Harold M. Schulweis
Rabbi, Valley Beth
Dr. Schwartz's erudition
and moral passion are admirable, as well as his ability to deal with so many subjects
so readably and succinctly.
Dr. Andre Ungar
Temple Emanuel Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey
Former chairperson of the Hebraic
Studies Department Rutgers University
Shows with eloquence
and intelligence that Jewish tradition has much to teach us all about how to protect
the earth and the human race from destruction -- and how to nurture a decent world.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Director of the Shalom Center
Author of "Godwrestling:
Round 2" and many other books.
My undergraduate years
at Brandeis University were just beginning when the first edition of this book
came out -- and this one-stop collection of Judaic textual sources on issues of
the day had a profound influence on me. It served well through years of learning
and activism, and was one of the few to accompany me on a cross-country walk for
the environment ten years ago. In seminary at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical
College, hardly a month went by without occasion to consult this important work.
As a pulpit rabbi and Jewish-environmental educator, I still keep it handy. Not
only is it time for me to replace my own dog-eared copy, but it's time for the
newly-updated edition of this work to find a position of prominence on every Jewish
Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb
Reconstructionist Congregation, Bethesda, MD
Board of Trustees, Coalition
on the Environment and Jewish Life
I urge every Rabbi,
Jewish teacher and concerned Jew to read Judaism and Global Survival by Richard
Schwartz. We face the future with a great need for ancient wisdom from our tradition
dealing with justice and how to sustain our life on earth. Schwartz's visionary
and wise book provides us with the spiritual tools to guide our way.
Rabbi Warren Stone
Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) Environmental
An excellent sourcebook. Many of its ideas have
found their way into my sermons.
Rabbi Gerald Serotta
Campus Rabbi, Hillel
Associate Rabbi, Temple Shalom of Chevy Chase, MD.
Judaism's most basic principles are God's affirmation of both the world and the
moral potential of humankind. Therefore, to the Jewish mind, the proper concerns
of religion are not only of a private, subjective nature, but necessarily extend
to the spiritual and physical improvement of the world. Dr. Schwartz echoes the
impassioned protest of the ancient prophets of Israel in his pointed consideration
of contemporary social issues. In doing so, he also demonstrates that Judaism
cannot be pigeonholed into the convenient ideological categories of "conservative,"
"liberal," etc., but must be encountered on its own terms.
Rabbi David Sears
Author of "Compassion For Humanity In the Jewish
Tradition" and "The Vision of Eden: Animal Welfare and Vegetarianism
in Jewish Law and Mysticism"
"Judaism and Global
Survival" is like a shofar calling the Jewish community to wake up to current
crises and at the same time return to our roots. Through clear and compelling
exploration, Schwartz calls us to pay attention to the destruction and injustice
taking place around the world, realize how we are complicit in environmental degradation
and human suffering, and take action rooted in basic Jewish values. Read this
book, hear the shofar, and listen for the still, small voice inside that calls
our Jewish souls to the work of healing and repairing our world.
Mark X. Jacobs
Executive Director, COEJL (Coalition on the Environment
and Jewish Life)
A lovingly detailed synthesis of much
of the best moral tradition of Judaism, relating it to modern problems of ecology,
war, hunger, and other issues of world survival.
Former President of the Jewish Peace Fellowship
Co-author of "The
Challenge of Shalom"
Richard Schwartz has written
a profound and inspiring call to Jews to involve themselves in saving our planet
from disaster. His book makes us proud of our Jewish heritage and eager to engage
in environmental activism.
Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College
Schwartz's book represents a generous, humane spirit. It is filled with examples
of Judaism as a living guide to contemporary life. It says that Jews need only
look into their own religious faith and history to discover that all people, not
only Jews, are worthy of our concern -- and, as Schwartz writes, "Each of
us must be a Jonah, with a mission to warn the world that it must turn from greed,
injustice and idolatry to avoid global oblivion." Judaism and Global Survival
is rich in the teachings of Judaism and reflective of the extraordinary ethical
and moral way of life that has always made us distinctive. It is an important
Former Editor, "Present Tense"
Chair of the Jewish Peace Fellowship, and editor of "Shalom: The Jewish Peace
Richard Schwartz is the world's foremost expert
on Judaism's teachings on protecting animals and the environment, and this book
eloquently describes and documents the religious obligation of every Jew to treat
animals with kindness and preserve our planet for future generations. This extremely
eloquent, important, and timely book treats a subject of the utmost importance,
one of vital concern to everyone - how we can save the earth and prevent the destruction
of its life support systems and of humanity itself.
President, the Interfaith Council for the Protection of Animals
Author of "Replenish the Earth: the Teachings of the World's
Religions on Protecting Animals and Nature"
is not just for Jews. People of all faiths who want to know how the Hebrew scriptures
address the crucial issues of our times will find it invaluable. It can be a common
ground for those of us who want the kind of dialogue that will create the world
that ought to be.
Tony Campolo, Ph.D.
of Sociology, Eastern College
Richard Schwartz has crafted
a magnificent contribution to Jewish ethical writing. He has insightfully raised
important questions for concerned Jews and courageously taught a simple, yet profound
Rabbi Hillel Norry
Shaare Tzedeck Synagogue,
Member of the Law and Standards Committee of the Rabbinical