Richard H. Schwartz
Vegan, climate change,and social justice activist

What a Wonderful Path Judaism Is!

The following is an excerpt from my recently published book, “Who Stole My Religion? Revitalizing Judaism and Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal Our Imperiled Planet,”

What A Wonderful Path Judaism Is!

  • _Judaism proclaims a God who is the Creator of all life, whose attributes of kindness, compassion, and justice are to serve as examples for all our actions.
  • _Judaism stresses that every person is created in God’s image and therefore is of supreme value.
  • _Judaism teaches that people are to be co-workers with God in preserving and improving the world. We are mandated to serve as stewards of the world’s resources to see that God’s bounties are used for the benefit of all.
  • _Judaism asserts that nothing that has value may be wasted or unnecessarily destroyed (bal tashchit).
  • _Judaism stresses that we are to love other people as ourselves, to be kind to strangers, “for we were strangers in the land of Egypt,” and to act with compassion toward the homeless, the poor, the orphan, the widow, and all of God’s creatures.
  • _Judaism urges efforts to reduce hunger. A Jew who helps to feed a hungry person is considered, in effect, to have “fed” God.
  • _Judaism mandates that we must seek and pursue peace. Great is peace, for it is one of God’s names, all God’s blessings are contained in it, it must be sought even in times of war, and it will be the Messiah’s first blessing.
  • _Judaism exhorts us to pursue justice, to work for a society in which each person has the ability to obtain, through creative labor, the means to lead a dignified life.
  • _Judaism teaches that God’s compassion is over all of God’s works, that the righteous individual considers the well-being of animals, and that Jews should avoid tsa’ar ba’alei chayim, causing pain to animals.
  • _Judaism stresses involvement, nonconformity, resistance to oppression and injustice, and a constant struggle against idolatry.
  • About the Author
    Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D., is the author of Judaism and Vegetarianism, Judaism and Global Survival, Who Stole My Religion? Revitalizing Judaism and Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal our Imperiled Planet, and Mathematics and Global Survival, and over 200 articles and 25 podcasts at JewishVeg.com/schwartz. He is President Emeritus of Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) and President of the Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians (SERV). He is associate producer of the 2007 documentary “A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World.” He is also a Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the College of Staten Island, which is part of the City University of New York.
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