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.]