Trimming Beards and Cutting Trees

A New Understanding of Bal Tashchit

Rabbi Sarah Krinsky

The mitzvah of bal tashchit often serves as the underpinning of Jewish environmentalism. Yet in the Torah, the language of "tashchit" refers not just to trees, but also to trimming one's beard. We will explore this alternate conception of bal tashchit, and think together about connections between the two paradigms and their implications on our environmental practices.

Recorded live at the Global Day of Jewish Learning, November 20, 2016. Sarah Krinsky represented B'nai Jeshurun.