Judaism, Nature and Environmentalism: A Comprehensive Overview

By Rabbi Mordechai Becher
January 23, 2023

Exploring the Jewish view of Nature and the human being’s responsibility to the environment.

The 15th of Shevat, Tu B’Shvat, is the New Year of Trees in the Jewish calendar. It’s a time when we think about trees, eat their fruit and often contemplate and appreciate nature. However, I am here to tell you that Nature does not exist. Let me clarify.

The idea that there is an entity called Nature that somehow has plans, purpose and wisdom is not true. If you are a secular atheist (is there any other type of atheist?) you must agree with this – since the world and everything in it is, in your opinion, a result of random, undirected forces. As Stephen Jay Gould emphasizes many times in his works, nature has no intentions; species survive by sheer luck; humanity is not the purpose of creation; and it is ridiculous to speak of Nature as an entity with purpose.

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