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The Mitzvah of Planting Trees

“Let no one ever cease from planting. Fields filled with trees greeted us at birth, and we should add to their number even in old age.” Midrash: Genesis 2:8

“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” Anonymous

One of the best things individuals can do to help the environment is to plant a tree. Trees alter the environment in which people live by moderating climate, improving air quality, conserving water and harboring wildlife.

Planting trees is also a Jewish imperative. It is one way that we as Jews can help repair and restore the Earth, tilling it and tending it as commanded in the Torah.

While tree planting can be an individual act, the Jewish Environmental Initiative also offers opportunities for our community to join together to celebrate the joy of planting and beautifying a neighborhood. The next St. Louis Jewish Community Tree Planting will be on Sunday October 17. We look forward to this opportunity toward helping restore the environment for generations to come.

Gail Wechsler is the Director of Domestic Issues/Social Justice at the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis. She is the staff person for the Jewish Environmental Initiative (JEI), a committee of the JCRC and a part of the JCRC's Bohm Social Justice Initiative.
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