Vox Tablet


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

October 10, 2011
(David Buimovitch/AFP/Getty Images)
(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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Vox Tablet is Tablet Magazine’s weekly podcast, hosted by Sara Ivry and produced by Julie Subrin. You can listen to individual episodes here or subscribe on iTunes.

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