From our ancient texts we learn that Judaism speaks out against wasteful consumption of nature’s resources. The concept of bal tashchit (do not destroy; do not waste) has been a guiding rabbinic principle based on Deuteronomy 20:19-20, which admonishes the warrior not to destroy the trees of a city under siege. Over time, that admonition has been extended to include all careless consumption of nature’s bounty.
Maimonides in the Mishnah Torah, speaks of the laws of discernment and the ethical efficacy of bal tashchit and its function to train a person not to be a destroyer and wanton exploiter of nature’s resources. The implication is that we should live with a recognition of what the earth can sustain in the present and what our commitment to the generations that follow must be with respect to sustainability of resources in the future. Women’s League for Conservative Judaism embraces the principle of bal tashchit and applies it to the issue of responsible use of energy.
WHEREAS Women’s League for Conservative Judaism has advocated for environmental consciousness since 1976 and has actively advocated for measures to improve the environment and to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and
WHEREAS much can be achieved by encouraging conservation and focusing on the development and implementation of alternative forms of energy thereby reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign energy sources and reducing our carbon footprint;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, through its sisterhoods and region leadership:
No issue confronting the United States rivals the urgency or magnitude of energy. Yet, no broad sense of crisis or urgency is evident on the part of the American public.
Therefore, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism urges its members to:
The recent energy emergency has alerted us to the dangers of wasting energy and to the realization that our resources are not unlimited. Although the immediate crisis seems to have subsided, the problem of insufficient energy remains.
Therefore, Women’s League urges its members to: