By Dov Peretz Elkins
“Who Stole My Religion?” is a thought-provoking and timely call to apply Judaism’s powerful teachings to help shift our imperiled planet onto a sustainable path. While appreciating the radical, transformative nature of Judaism, Richard Schwartz argues that it has been “stolen” by Jews who are in denial about climate change and other environmental threats and support politicians and policies that may be inconsistent with basic Jewish values. Tackling such diverse issues as climate change, world hunger, vegetarianism, poverty, terrorism, destruction of the environment, peace prospects in Israel, and American foreign policy, he offers practical suggestions for getting Judaism back on track as a faith based on justice, peace, and compassion. He urges the reader to reconsider current issues in line with Judaism’s highest values in an effort to meet the pressing challenges of today’s world.
Right now the new Trump administration is on the cusp of deciding whether climate change is real, and human-created, or not. The President-elect should read this book, and he will be convinced beyond doubt that there is so much more that we humans and governments must do to save our planet.
Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo, Dean, the David Cardozo Academy, Jerusalem, says this about the book: “At a time when Judaism has become largely irrelevant, when, as Rabbi Heschel put it, ‘the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past,’ ‘Who Stole My Religion?’ is an eye-opener, showing how the application of Jewish values can produce a more compassionate, just, peaceful, and environmentally sustainable world. In order to leave a decent world for future generations, it is essential that its challenging, thought provoking messages be widely read and heeded.”
Richard H. Schwartz, PhD, is the author of Judaism and Vegetarianism, Judaism and Global Survival, and Mathematics and Global Survival. He also has over 200 articles and 25 podcasts online at http://www.JewishVeg.com/schwartz. He is president emeritus of Jewish Veg – formerly known as Jewish Vegetarians of North America ( JVNA) – president of the Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians (SERV), a patron of the International Jewish Vegetarian Society, and a member of the Board of the Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM). He is associate producer of the 2007 documentary A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World. In 1987 he was selected as Jewish Vegetarian of the Year by JVNA, and in 2005 he was inaugurated into the North American Vegetarian Society’s Hall of Fame. He is a professor emeritus of mathematics at the College of Staten Island, has been married since 1960, and has 3 children and 10 grandchildren.
This review originally appeared on the Jewish Media Review.