Ecology and the Jewish Spirit: Where Nature and the Sacred Meet. Edited, and with Introductions by Ellen Bernstein. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 1998. Pp. 277. $23.95.
It's a real shame, but all political and social movements, at some point, break up into factions. The factions debate their relative necessity, claim authority over areas of discourse and action, and generally vie for power. They stop coordinating and communicating with each other. There are occasional acts of sabotage. The competition of the market economy (including the grant-funded non-profit sector) and the expanse of human vanity demand this distinction. Everyone needs to find their niche. An ecologist understands this as well as an economist, an activist as well as a lobbyist, a rabbi as well as a lawyer. In her Introduction to the thirty seven essays collected in Ecology and the Jewish Spirit: Where Nature and the Sacred Meet, Ellen Bernstein, founder of Shomrei Adomah, an institution dedicated to illuminating Jewish ecological perspectives and renewing Jewish spirituality, identifies the environmental crisis as "at heart, a crisis of values." This identification, a response to the piecemeal, problem-solving approach prevalent in the mainstream legislative, legal, scientific, technological, and academic communities, informs Bernstein's purposes in editing this book: to further the work of Shomrei Adomah, to reinject a sense of mystery and reverence into the debates about the environment, and to endorse the inherent value of Nature.
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Also Published In
- Ecology Law Quarterly