Shared Earth Speaker Series

Saving the Earth: Should Faith Groups Care?
“To Tend and to Guard: Exploring Jewish Environmental Ethics”
Rabbi Nina Perlmutter

On May 13, 2010 Flagstaff enjoyed a rare opportunity to hear an expert on the subject of deep ecology or eco-ethics. Shared Earth Network sponsored a presentation by Rabbi Nina Perlmutter, “To Tend and to Guard: Exploring Jewish Environmental Ethics.” Rabbi Perlmutter, the spiritual leader of Heichal Baoranim Synagogue, has devoted over 35 years to environmental activism and education. From 1984-2005 she headed the Philosophy and Religious Studies Program at Yavapai College where she still teaches as an adjunct professor. Her area of expertise has been “eco-theology” involving ethics, environmental ethics and comparative religions.

Rabbi Perlmutter has also taught at the Grand Canyon and for the Elderhostel Program and is the first designated rabbi for Grand Canyon National Park. During Governor Bruce Babbitt’s term she was in charge of the Recycling Education and Public Information Program. For many years she was a speaker and book group facilitator for the Arizona Humanities. She and her husband have built two passive solar homes. She retired early to become a rabbi. Her rabbinical thesis was on Jewish Environmental Ethics.

Forty-one people attended the Rabbi’s talk at Heichal Baoranim in Flagstaff. We were all inspired! Now you may be inspired too, by reading the Rabbi’s article on the same topic. According to Jewish tradition, the Torah is divided into weekly portions, or parshas, so that the whole Torah is covered in the course of a year. For the week beginning May 2, Rabbi Perlmutter examined the Torah parsha "Behar-Bekhukotai" entitling her comments "For the Land is Mine." Jews are always encouraged to comment on the weekly portion and apply it to their lives. Rabbi Perlmutter’s commentary follows.

Download the Rabbi’s article "For the Land is Mine". Click Here to Download


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