Is Judaism Concerned with Conservation?

Does it really matter when a species goes extinct?

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Comments (10)

(4) Tova Saul, April 25, 2018 7:28 AM

Judaism is very concerned with species conservation

But apparently, not enough Jews are concerned, seeing as though no one has responded to this video.

(3) Judith Gottesman, MSW, April 25, 2018 5:40 AM

5 beautiful points

Thank you for these 5 informative and beautiful points about the Jewish imperative to conserve nature and wildlife. The first on the prohibition against destruction is strong support for vegan values and why it is the true kashrut.

(2) Debbie, April 25, 2018 2:27 AM

Hashem spoke to Adam about his relationship to the earth.

Adam was commanded to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth, v'kivshu'ha - capture it, dominate it. He was also given a garden l'avda u'lishamra, to work it and to protect it. I believe we're encouraged to build and develop technology, as long as it's in the safe-keeping of our earth.

(1) Tova Saul, April 24, 2018 5:06 PM

Rabbi Becher.....

Let's simplify, because most of the points do not really address the enormity of the tragedy that the loss of species is. When Hashem created the world, "He saw that it was good". We are quickly destroying Hashem's masterpieces, and creating a dead planet. The main cause of species extinction is loss of habitat. Loss of habitat is mainly caused by an ever-burgeoning human population, which needs the constant building of new housing developments, factories, roads, businesses, farms, etc.

There is a kabbalist thought that "Hashem contracted Himself to make room for the universe". Humans have not learned to make room for the rest of the planet's species. Unless humans, in the wake of modern medicine that has caused infant mortality to plummet, decide to be content with 1 or 2 children per family, there really is no hope to conserve species. Even the lion is endangered now.

Judith Gottesman, April 25, 2018 6:25 AM

Animal Agriculture is biggest threat to planet

Go vegan, and you stop ranchers from killing wildlife and rainforest loss, as well as lessen pollution greatly from methane and run off i to water supplies, ecoli, etc, not to mention use farmland to grow food to feed people rather than farm animals. And, of course, it's the compassionate way and healthy to eat and live. See Cowspiracy and Earthlings for a great tutorial.

Judith Gottesman, April 25, 2018 9:21 PM

Jewish organizations to get involved with this:

Jewish Veg, Shamyaim V'Aretz, COEJL, and Canfei N'sharim

Shoshana-Jerusalem, April 25, 2018 7:07 PM

We are more important

H-shem's greatest masterpiece is the human being. We are the very purpose of the entire Creation. He blew into us a holy soul,( neshama, in Hebrew.) The Sages say, "He who blows, blows from himself", which is quite obvious, for if you blow into a balloon, let's say, you are blowing from yourself. So H-sahem gave us a gift of holiness. .He loves us very much and also wants us to be close to Him. Our purpose on this world is to become close to H-shem. That's why we pray, and say blessings before and after food, in order to feel His presence and become closer to Him.

He did not create this magnificent world because of animals. He created it for us, so we could learn Torah and observe it, thereby become close to Him and earn a great reward in the Next World.

The animals were created to serve us and that is the reason for their existence. So we should see their beauty and greatness, and feel love of our Creator who created them. They also provide us with milk and cheese,etc., eggs, wool to keep us warm, also leather and fur, and, sorry to shock you meat. And perform all kinds of services for us-pulling wagons and sleds, waking us in the morning, etc.
True, we have obligations toward them, to follow the Torah law of "tzar l'baallei chai", not to be mean to them, and to feed them, etc. Do you know that you are supposed to feed your dog before you sit down to eat, so that you will not forget?

But to have less children so that there can be more animals?!?

All the lions in the world are not worth one child! We have eight, bli eyin horah, and I am so thankful to H-shem for them, though I was hoping for 20! And our children are happily having many babies, and we even have a few great grandchildren already. Each one is a holy Jewish neshama, May we and the entire Jewish nation merit to bring down many more holy neshamas.

tova saul, April 27, 2018 3:59 PM

two responses

1. The Talmud says ""Don't ask why Hashem created flies, fleas, and mosquitos, because everything has a purpose". Therefore, none of us ultimately knows the purpose of any creature. It's enough that Hashem created them, period. Even though you have predented a long list of how we exploit animals for "the purpose they were born".
The Talmud also says that Hashem said to Adam, "see how praiseworthy is My Creation. Be sure don't destroy any of it because there will come no one after you to repair it."
It's profoundly tragic for humans, not animals, that they will live in a world devoid of wildlife. It's profoundly tragic that we are so shortsighted and have such a lack of value toward Hashem's masterpieces that we are crowding them out with the crush of our unnecessary thoughtless and selfish production of such enormous human populations.

MoTown Momma, April 26, 2018 9:36 PM


It makes no sense to quote Kaballah while opposing a direct Torah mandate to "be fruitful and multiply" (Pru u'R'vu)!
While HaShem created a world filled with all sorts of creatures, the "crown of Creation" is the human being, who is the purpose of Creation, the being for whom the rest of the world was made. Having large families in no way contradicts concern with conservation; it's a matter of lifestyle and limiting conspicuous consumption, values which can be taught to any number of children.

Tova Saul, April 30, 2018 5:32 AM

I agree---Humans are "more important", therefore:

Therefore, we deserve to live in a world that is living and breathing with all of Hashem's wondrous creatures, and not a world filled with just cities, factories, roads and farms------a dead world void of Hashem's biodiversity forever. A world destroyed due to destruction of every ecosystem from the crush of human populations.
"Be fruitful and multiply"------We started with 2 people and have 7 billion. Mission accomplished.
Hashem looked at His Creation "and saw that it was good". Seems that destroying His creation by crowding it out is a pretty bad thing to do.


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