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Religious Studies

Judaism: beliefs about care of the planet

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The relationship between human beings and the earth is increasingly complicated and urgent. Every day there are stories about pollution, global warming and animal species facing extinction. Religion is responding with views on the enviroment and our responsibility for it.

Jewish belief about the environment

Although human beings are seen as the most intelligent life form on earth, they are responsible for almost all the damage done to the planet. If we imagined the earth is aged 46, all the damage done has taken place in the last 60 seconds of the earth's life.

Jews believe that the one G-d whom they worship created the heavens and earth and all forms of life in the six days of creation. Jewish teaching about caring for the environment comes from the Bible:

Then G-d said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.' … G-d blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'

Genesis 1:26 and 28

Because of this passage, people see themselves as being responsible for the world which G-d created and they have to make their own decisions about how to do this.

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