Climate Change Living Talmud: Discussion Questions

This discussion guide was used along with the RAC's Living Talmud on Climate Change (view, download, or print at this link) at the NFTY Convention 2015 social justice track. Use it to spark conversation in your youth group, congregation, or with friends and family!

Use these discussion questions and the Living Talmud on Climate Change to guide your discussion as a group. The following questions are to help start conversation, but feel free to engage other questions, examine any texts of the page and allow students to determine where the conversation goes. Take about 10 minutes to discuss the text.

  1. Take a look at the first text. What does this mean? Find one other text on the Living Talmud that directly discusses this central text.
  2. What is the connection between the environment and our Reform Jewish values?
  • Have you ever thought of the environment as being a “Jewish” issue? Why or why not?
  • Based on these texts, how much control over the Earth does God give to humankind? What is our responsibility to the planet and to the other living creatures on it, present and future? How do we balance our need to utilize the resources of our earth with our desire to care for it?
  1. How do we, as Jews today, understand the command to “till and tend”?
  2. Read the text from Exodus 23:6 and Leviticus 19:15 in the upper left corner of the Living Talmud. What might the connection be between this Jewish value and the others texts on the page?