Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is the first contributor to a new series, '18 Rabbis for 18 Days', a collection of thoughts, ideas, commentaries on Jewish environmental texts:
"Because the Jews were the first to believe in one God who created the
universe, they also laid out, from the Torah, the world's first ever
The key phrase occurs in the second chapter of Bereishit where it says that God planted the first human being in the Garden of Eden l'ovda v'shomra - to serve and conserve it.
In other words, God says to us; Here is the universe. I have made you the single most powerful force in it. But you are my guardians, my trustees, and therefore you have to protect and preserve the environment for the sake of future generations.
This is as great a challenge in the 21st century as it has ever been."