The Jewish Declaration on Nature
Hertzberg, Rabbi Arthur1986
A declaration regarding the conservation of nature from the point of view of Judaism that emerged from the first inter-religious meeting on nature conservation in Assisi (Italy) in 1986, organized by WWF International. After the meeting statements from representatives of the world’s five major religions – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism – were issued that addressed the issue of nature conservation from the point of view of faith.According to the Bible, when God created the world He established order over chaos. The sun, moon and stars, plants and animals were created in a legitimate and necessary place in the universe and no one could usurp the place of the other. Thus, from the beginning of time humanity was responsible before God for all creation. The righteous one is he or she who lives in this world without usurping the rights of any of God’s creatures. Now, as the environment is being polluted, some plants and animals are becoming extinct and so it is our responsibility to defend nature in all aspects of our lives. Humanity has a responsibility towards life and should defend it everywhere. We should fight against our mistakes and also those of others. We are all passengers in this magnificent but fragile world and so we must safeguard the boat by all rowing together in the same direction.
Hertzberg, Rabbi Arthur. “The Jewish Declaration on Nature”. A: The Assisi Declarations: Messages on Humanity and Nature from Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam & Judaism. Basilica di S. Francesco Assisi, Italy. WWF 25th Anniversary, 29 September 1986.