Waste Not

A Jewish Environmental Ethic

Tanhum S. Yoreh
eISBN-13: 9781438476711

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Traces the development of bal tashhit, the Jewish prohibition against wastefulness and destruction, from its biblical origins to the contemporary environmental movement.

Bal tashhit, the Jewish prohibition against wastefulness and destruction, is considered to be an ecological ethical principle by contemporary Jewish environmentalists. Waste Not provides a comprehensive intellectual history of this concept, charting its evolution from the Bible through classical rabbinic literature, commentaries, codes of law, responsa, and the works of modern environmentalists. Tanhum S. Yoreh uses the methodology of tradition histories to identify pivotal moments in the development of the prohibition in particular, its transition into an economic framework. He finds that bal tashhits earliest stages of conceptualization connect the prohibition against wastefulness with avoidance of self-harm. This connection is commonplace within contemporary environmental thought and a universalizing Jewish principle with important contributions to be made to Jewish and general societal ecological discourse. This narrative provides a foundation for understanding bal tashhit as an environmental ethic for today and tomorrow.

Tanhum S. Yoreh is Assistant Professor at the School of the Environment at the University of Toronto.

ISBNs 9781438476711, 9781438476698
Publish Year 2019
Language English