The Torah—The Original Handbook on Green Living

Genesis 2:15, Tend/dress and keep it. Tend is the Hebrew word avad meaning “to work or serve.” Being a gardener was Adam’s occupation. Yeshua was the second Adam. After Yeshua’s resurrection, interestingly, he was mistaken as the gardener (John 20:15). 

The Torah teaches sustainable living and stewardship of the earth. The terms sustainability or sustainable living along with green, eco-friendly, etc. are currently fad concepts that are bandied about by those seeking to be politically correct—whatever that is supposed to mean. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, defines sustainability as follows: 

Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of responsibility, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship, the responsible management of resource use. In ecology, sustainability describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time, a necessary precondition for the well-being of humans and other
organisms.

As the writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes said, there is nothing new under the sun. In the beginning, Elohim placed man in the idyllic paradise called the Garden of Eden instructing him “to tend” (serve, work, till, dress) and “to keep” (guard, observe, protect) the garden (Gen 2:15). Man was commanded to become the steward of what Elohim had created—to preserve, maintain and to care for it.

To this day, YHVH has never rescinded these instructions to man even though modern environmentalists and conservationists may think they originated the idea of responsible stewardship of the environment. Long before Rosseau, Thoreau, the Sierra Club, Earth First, Nature Conservancy, Germany’s Green Party, and the Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA) in America the Torah was preaching sustainable living and responsibly caring for the environment—YHVH’s creation. Let’s note how:

  • For the overall health and vigor of fruit trees, they were to be allowed to become established for three years before commercially harvesting their fruit (Lev 19:23–25).
  • So as not to deplete the soil’s fertility, agricultural land was to lay fallow every seventh year (Lev 25:2).
  • Fruit trees were to be preserved in times of war (Deut 20:19).
  • So as not to mongrelize similar types of fruits and vegetables through cross pollination, mixed seeds were not to be sowed together (Lev 19:19; Deut 22:9).
  • Interbreeding of diverse kinds of livestock was prohibited (Lev 19:19).
  • Work animals were allowed to eat the grain that they helped to thresh (Deut 25:4).
  • If a farm animal was injured or in danger, one was obligated to help the animal even if it belonged to someone else (Deut 22:4).
  • For the safety and well-being of work animals, an ox and donkey were not to be yoked together when plowing (Deut 22:10).
  • Work animals were to be allowed to rest on the Sabbath (Exod 20:8–11; Deut 5:14).
  • Humans are to rescue animals that are hurt, lost or that have fallen into a pit, even on the Sabbath (Matt 12:11, 12; Exod 23:4).
  • Bird’s nests and young hatchlings were to be cared for (Deut 22:6–7).
  • Humans were to care for the earth (and prevent diseases) by burying their excrement (Deut 23:13).
  • The establishment of toxic waste dumps for disease-contaminated materials (Lev 14:43–47).
 

The Healing Power of Nature

Yesterday, on Shabbat, Sandi I went for a walk in our local nature park. We just sat together listening to the sounds of nature, watching the birds, and watching the varying sunlight patterns highlight the trees in different ways. Through this, Sandi and I connected with each other, with the creation and with the Creator.

The healing and restorative value of these quiet times in nature can’t be overstated. Like taking an energizing vitamin B 12 shot, our need for spending time in nature increases as the world around us gets more frantic and crazy!

Here’s a video I did a couple of years ago on the healing power of nature. May it bless you!

 

What is man and what is he to do?

peasant silhouette on white background

Genesis 3:23, To till/work [Heb. abad] the ground [Heb. adamah] from which he was taken. Adam means “man, mankind, ground, land, and is a cognate to adom meaning “red,” and relates to the ruddiness of man’s complexion. According to The TWOT, this word has to do with the man as being created in Elohim’s image, the crown of his creation.

In this verse, Elohim commissioned Adam to work or to serve the earth/adamah.

In a homiletic sense, this command of YHVH could be construed to mean that Adam/man who is spiritually rough and ruddy, yet who is created in the image of Elohim, has been commissioned to work on himself to work on and to conquer his [base] sin nature and to bring himself into conformity with the image of YHVH.

Another facet of this idea could be that through the experiences and struggles of hard work, man will learn to overcome his fallen sin nature and rise to the higher calling of becoming like Elohim in nature. In a sense, hard work is part of man’s redemption process.

In a most fundamental sense, YHVH created man to serve or take care of the earth. Therefore, agriculture and horticulture are the professions that are the closest to YHVH’s original purpose for man.

 

Gardening—Man’s Noblest, Elohim Ordained Profession

Genesis 2:15, Tend/dress and keep it. Tend is the Hebrew word avad meaning “to work or serve.” Being a gardener was Adam’s occupation. Yeshua was the second Adam. After Yeshua’s resurrection, interestingly, he was mistaken as the gardener (John 20:15).

Gardening tools.

The Torah teaches sustainable living and stewardship of the earth. The terms sustainability or sustainable living are currently fad concepts that are bandied about by those seeking to be politically correct—whatever that is supposed to mean. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, defines sustainability as follows:

Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of responsibility, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship, the responsible management of resource use. In ecology, sustainability describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time, a necessary precondition for the well-being of humans and other organisms.

As the writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes said, there is nothing new under the sun. In the beginning, Elohim placed man in the idyllic paradise called the Garden of Eden instructing him “to tend” (serve, work, till, dress) and “to keep” (guard, observe, protect) the garden (Gen 2:15). Man was commanded to become the steward of what Elohim had created—to preserve, maintain and to care for it.

To this day, YHVH has never rescinded these instructions to man even though modern environmentalists and conservationists may think they originated the idea of responsible stewardship of the environment. Long before Rosseau, Thoreau, the Continue reading

 

Video: Back to Eden

This is a must-see video that will edify you spiritually and give you hope. The video promotion includes the following description:

After years of back-breaking toil in ground ravaged by the effects of man-made growing systems, Paul Gautschi has discovered a taste of what God intended for mankind in the garden of Eden. Some of the vital issues facing agriculture today include soil preparation, fertilization, irrigation, weed control, pest control, crop rotation, and PH issues. None of these issues exist in the unaltered state of nature or in Paul’s gardens and orchards.

This method of gardening can help to feed your family and neighbors during hard times. It’s rather funny to me, since I’m an arborist and own a tree service company and have been making wood chips for nearly 30 years, and I’ve never heard this before. If any of you want to try this method of gardening, let me know and I’ll dump you a load of wood chips for free (providing you live within ten minutes from me).

For a quick description of this video, watch this video review, and then watch the whole movie at the link below.

The Back to Eden website where you can watch the whole movie is at http://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/play/11883/Back-to-Eden