Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Some Environmentalists claim that our irresponsibility may/will result in, eventually, the destruction of life as we know it, due to global flooding and superstorms, or any other number of doomsday scenario theories.

Does Judaism have anything to say about this?

share|improve this question
If the Kadosh Baruch Hu is not actively involved in the maintenance of olam hazeh (see introduction to the interlinear Artscroll Megillat Ester) then who's to say we can't? – Noach MiFrankfurt Aug 31 '14 at 3:33
@NoachmiFrankfurt I don't have artscroll megillas esther, so do you mind shedding some light as to what it says? I know the Ba'al Shem Tov said clearly that there is Hashgacha Pratis, that everything in this world, even a leaf moving in the wind, is by Divine Providence. I know there were some others before him who said otherwise, but one of the Chabad Rebbeim, said that before the Besh"t clarified this, they were allowed to believe otherwise, but after he taught about hashgacha pratis, it's against the Torah to believe otherwise. I'll try and find the source. – user613 Sep 1 '14 at 8:31

I heard once in a recording of R' Moshe Wolfson that when the verse in Tehillim (93:1) says אף תכון תבל בל תמוט - [Hashem] set up the world that it not tilt - that this implies that the world cannot be destroyed by our actions. To me, this makes a lot of sense, as if we believe that Hashem made the world with a Divine purpose and mission, would He allow that to be subverted by something as inconsequential as people not recycling enough? The world won't be destroyed or become uninhabitable through our actions.

On the other hand, micro impacts could very well happen, and the world could become a less pleasant place to live, whether it be some minor degree of global warming or whatever the case may be that would cause small scale disasters. This has indeed happened in places where there were nuclear meltdowns or smog, for example. Therefore, it does not seem necessary for our survival to take care of our environment, but it could very well be that it is in our own best interests to maintain a pleasant environment.

share|improve this answer
I understand when someone asks a question, does some research and answers it themselves. But why post the question when you already have the answer typed up? Simply because this is a question answer forum as opposed to a post your chidush forum? – user6591 Aug 31 '14 at 3:34
@user6591 first of all, see here. Second, I asked to see what others would say, even though I had my own answer. – Y ez Aug 31 '14 at 3:38
It's even an option given when you ask the question - there is a little box to check that says "answer your own question" and then it will post the question and answer simultaneously. It's quite by-design. – Y ez Aug 31 '14 at 3:40
Ok. Sorry. My misunderstanding of the function of the site. I can remove my comment if its offensive to you, or leave it lihislameid lidoros. – user6591 Aug 31 '14 at 3:44
1. It doesn't take the complete destruction of the world to be catastrophic. The Holocaust "only" killed 66% of European Jewry. 2. Would he endorse a "hot" nuclear war with Russia? – Shmuel Brin Aug 31 '14 at 3:53

Yes, although the cause would probably be our own actions:

Midrash from Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) Rabba:

"When G-d created the first man he took him and showed him all the trees of the Garden of Eden and said to him "See my works, how beautiful and praiseworthy they are. And everything that I created, I created it for you. Be careful not to spoil or destroy my world – for if you do, there will be nobody after you to repair it."

share|improve this answer

The fact that the world will be destroyed in the year six thousand was a fundamental believe upon which the Rashba attacked the Moreh Nivuchim for not believing in, and used it as a main point to ban the learning of it. Having said that, according to the Rashba and his acceptance of this aggaddata, there is no reason to assume humanity itself won't be involved.

share|improve this answer
The Rambam (author of moreh nevuchim) says in pirush hamishnayos in the mishna "kol yisroel yesh lohem chelek l'olam haba..." That after moshiach, the world will cease and it will all be spiritual. See derech mitzvosecha, tzitzis, where it quotes also the ramban who argues, and says kabalah follows the ramban, and he implies the world will last forever – user613 Sep 1 '14 at 8:40
That is incorrect. He emphatically states many times that the world will not change in times of moshiach. Perhaps you are are reffering to his his his description of the spiritual world, but that is not this world post-Moshiach. He even quotes Chazzal 'there is no difference between this world and the time of Moshiach except subservience to the rulers'. But that is a concept of Moshiach. The argument I was mentioning is if the world will survive past year 6000 or not. What chazzal call the days of Moshiach are the two thousand up untill the six thousandth. See Avoda zara 9a. – user6591 Sep 2 '14 at 2:17
How can you in one breath deem it a fundamental belief, and one in which Rambam did not believe? It is Rambam's own definition of fundamental beliefs (i.e ikkarim) that is the most accepted! Even if you personally disagree with him, it is still difficult to implicitly declare him a denier of the fundaments of Judaism; i.e a heretic. – mevaqesh Aug 30 '15 at 22:21
@Mevaqesh throughout the generations different rabbis and societies have decided what the fundamentals are, and have argued with each other. I am merely quoting a Rashba stating his opinion from his society, who proceeds to accuse the Rambam of not believing it. This is no different than the Moreh accusing the Seffer HaIkrim of not believing in the other ten. Or accusing 'the great rabbis' the Raavad mentioned who believed in a corporeal Hashem of heresy. (I would tell you which late rishon blasted the Moreh for his noncorporeal pshat at Har Sinai, but I don't want Slifkin to find out). – user6591 Aug 30 '15 at 22:47
@Mevaqesh (that Rishon is in turn quoted by one of the authoritative achronim). But anyway, I accused no-one. I quoted an accusation. Which btw back in the day, great rabbis were able to say the words of other great rabbis were heresy and life went on. Not like today. – user6591 Aug 30 '15 at 22:49

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.