Bal Tashchit : the Jewish prohibition against needless destruction

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Bal Tashchit : the Jewish prohibition against needless destruction

Type: Doctoral thesis
Title: Bal Tashchit : the Jewish prohibition against needless destruction
Author: Wolff, K.A.
Publisher: Faculty of Medicine / Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Leiden University
Issue Date: 2009-12-01
Keywords: Bal tashchit
Fruit-producing trees
Human dignity
Human innovation
Human life and health
Jewish tradition
Needless destruction
Religion and environment
Resource management
Water conservation
Abstract: Bal tashchit is possibly the most important religious principle directly relating to the relationship between man and his environment. This thesis attempts to answer three basic questions: 1) what exactly is bal tashchit? 2) How might a principle of bal tashchit be applied to current environmental problems? 3) What contributions might the principle of bal tashchit make to the world? This thesis examines the classic texts in the Jewish tradition from which bal tashchit is derived, including the source-text (Deuteronomy 20:19-20), which contains important symbolism concerning the relationship between man and his environment. From these texts is developed a principle of bal tashchit which places a great deal of importance on the intellectual and moral-ethical development of man as key factors in the proper management of the natural environment. Included in this principle is a hierarchy for the allocation of resources in a way that will avoid needless destruction, and maximize human welfare in a sustainable way. As a theoretical approach to the management of current environmental problems, the principle of bal tashchit is applied to the recurring water crisis in the land of Israel, and more peripherally, to the problems of climate change and loss of biodiversity.
Description: Promotores: F.A. de Wolff, A. Wijler
With summary in Dutch
Faculty: LUMC
Citation: Wolff, K.A., 2009, Doctoral thesis, Leiden University
ISBN: 9789659149605
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/14448
 

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