Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Do Not Destroy - Blog Action Day

Deuteronomy 20:19-20:
“When in your war against a city you have to besiege it a long time in order to capture it, you must not destroy its trees, wielding the ax against them. You may eat of them, but you must not cut them down. Are trees of the field human to withdraw before you into the besieged city? Only trees that you know do no yield food may be destroyed; you may cut them down for constructing siege works against the city that is waging war on you, until it has been reduced.”

This Torah text is the basis for the Jewish value of "Bal tashchit" - which means "do not destroy" (okay, that's not a literal translation - literally, it means "master of destruction.") It's a pretty important Jewish commandment, and I'm proud that our tradition has environmental protection as a basic belief.

With that in mind, we come to this year's Blog Action Day, whose theme is climate change (did anyone else remember that we did this topic in 2007?). Yes, that's right, the environmental disarray that we find in our world today. We definitely have a responsibility to do something about the current state of our environment.

We tend to be pretty "green" in our house. We recycle, we use cloth napkins, we take reusable lunch bags and don't buy bottled water. It's a pretty regular topic of conversation in our house.

But of all the things I've ever written about being eco-friendly, this post is my favorite. It's not long, so I'm going to reprint in its entirety:

7 year old, practically spitting: Mom, I am so mad at you!
(glances around...) I'm so mad at you that I'm going to waste water!

He turns on the bathroom faucet and just lets the water run for a few moments.

Then he shuts it off and walks away.

What does it say when your kid rebels by being eco-unfriendly!?
 Are you participating in Blog Action Day?


Cheryl S. said...

R. Phyllis, your story about your son turning on the water is priceless! Love the CLOTH napkins. Hmmm. We have green everything except that. Thanks!

The Rebbetzin's Husband said...

Thanks for the links!

Dan - Israeli Uncensored News said...

Uh, sorry, the Torah means something very different. We're permitted to destroy any trees except for the fruit trees (fruitful, which includes olives). There is no ecological concern here, just a common sense that we need not destroy the trees which we will use after uprooting our enemies.