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Evonne Marzouk, the Orthodox co-founder of a Jewish environmental group, insists the Torah holds us responsible for the earth’s well-being

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(David Buimovitch/AFP/Getty Images)

Sukkot, which begins later this week, celebrates the end of the harvest season. People decorate their sukkahs with branches and fruits as a way of giving thanks for the season’s bounty. Yet Jews generally shy away from nature worship, with its echoes of idolatry and paganism. It is even argued that Judaism’s human-centered worldview—the belief that humans alone are made in God’s image—makes us particularly ill-suited to respond to warnings about shrinking glaciers and dying species.

How, then, does a religious Jew who is deeply concerned about threats to the environment galvanize her community? Evonne Marzouk, the founder and executive director of Canfei Nesharim, a Jewish environmental organization, addressed that question for Vox Tablet. She spoke to host Sara Ivry about rabbinical and Torah-based justifications for making environmental sustainability a priority, her own journey to environmental advocacy, and the unique skills Orthodox Jews can bring to the challenges of sustainable living. [Running time: 19:38.] 

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genesis 2:16 “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”
sounds like an assignment of responsibility.


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Evonne Marzouk, the Orthodox co-founder of a Jewish environmental group, insists the Torah holds us responsible for the earth’s well-being

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