What people have said about the documentary, “A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal Our Imperilled Planet”
What People Are Saying about “A Sacred Duty,” a video that shows how applying Jewish values can help reduce environmental threats and help shift our imperilled planet onto a sustainable path.
Please note that the movie will be ten years old in November 2017, and is due for a renewal so that many more people will see it.
It can be freely wen at www.ASacredDuty.com, where there is more information about the movie, including several reviews.
“We at CLAL believe that if Judaism is going to be taken seriously by American Jews and for that matter by all Americans, Jewish wisdom needs to contribute to and to add value to the debates at the center of our culture and politics. This documentary – whether or not one agrees with every detail – is an important contribution to one of the critical public policy conversations facing this country and a serious example of taking Jewish wisdom public. Produced at a high quality, this documentary reminds us that it is our sacred duty to become aware of current threats and our responsibility to apply Jewish teachings to how we obtain our food, use natural resources, and live among other creatures whom God created. Not only does it offer simple, practical measures for reducing our impact on the planet, it shows how authentic religious responses melded with science can make a major difference in our efforts to reduce global climate change and other environmental threats. It also challenges people to consider the many moral issues related to our diets, including Torah teachings on how animals are treated on factory farms and the effects on human health and the environment.
“Although it is primarily intended for a Jewish audience, A Sacred Duty speaks to people everywhere about the ethics of our relationship to the natural world in which we live. We are honored that JVNA has made this gift possible.”
Rabbi Irwin Kula, President CLAL (Jewish think tank)
CLAL sent DVDs to 2,000 rabbis and other Jewish leaders who have connections to the group
“A Sacred Duty should be mandated viewing for all people on planet Earth. Great job!”
Howard F. Lyman, the Mad Cowboy
Former fourth generation cattle rancher who is now a leading vegetarian activist
“A Sacred Duty is a tour de force. Anyone who watches with an open heart and an open mind will leave the theater deeply moved and called to action.”
Bruce Friedrich, Vice-President, PETA.
“A Sacred Duty melds modern science with Jewish religious teachings to make a compelling case for vegetarianism that conscientious viewers will find hard to resist. A cheekier title might have been “What Would Moses Eat Today?” in the face of catastrophic global warming and environmental degradation, world hunger and needless violence to billions of helpless animals every year. I hope A Sacred Duty will help redefine kosher for the 21st century Jew, for vegetarianism – a diet infused with kindness and blessedly free of bloodshed – is our Biblical root (“behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed”) and our moral destiny (“and the wolf shall dwell with the lamb”).”
Syd Baumel, writer and animal activist, publisher of eatkind.net
“I can’t find the words to tell you how deeply I was moved by A Sacred Duty. I’ve seen similar factory farming footage for decades, but in the context of this extraordinary film, it was particularly compelling….very moving. Poignantly written, beautifully filmed and perfectly executed, it was enlightening without being admonishing. A truly monumental film not only for those of the Jewish faith, but for the animals. Another, very subtle impression was the fact that you were able to bring together representatives from all corners of the Jewish faith. While just by nature of their categories, there are things that separate them, their words around this topic had great unison, sounding as though they came from one voice. From the first scene to the final word, this film is absolutely brilliant! Thank you, Lionel, Richard, and all who were involved, for the legacy of this contribution to our planet, its people and its animals.”
Kris Haley, Manager of Multifaith Outreach/Animals & Religion
Best Friends Animal Society
“A Sacred Duty makes a crystal clear argument for taking action to end factory farming. How could any person of faith and conviction remain indifferent after seeing this film? Humane Society Animals & Religion was created out of the belief that religious people can do much to end the current state of industrial animal agriculture in this country. At a time when people are searching for ways to apply their spirituality to their daily lives, what better cause than ethical, mindful, compassionate food choices?”
Christine Gutleben, Director, Animals & Religion
The Humane Society of the United States
“A SACRED DUTY is a wake-up call for Jews and all others who care about the fate of our planet. A deep love for Earth, for humanity, and for our animal cousins shines through it. This documentary shows how compassionate dietary choices can unite Jews and other people of faith in taking action to rescue and heal our precious, imperiled earth.”
Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor
THE PEACEABLE TABLE, A Quaker Online Journal
“I would love to see a film like this viewed by every religious/spiritual group in the world. Through this film, the golden rule takes on new meaning as we extend our definition of “Others” to include all life. What a powerful invitation to actually bring our lives into alignment with our values.”
Rae Sikora, Anthropologist
Co-founder of the Center for Compassionate Living and the International Institute for Humane Education, and Founder/Director of Simply Enough
“A SACRED DUTY is beautiful and poetic, inspiring and optimistic, good in all possible senses. The image of the tear shedding cow was so moving, that I couldn’t restrain myself and burst out crying! The quotations from Tanach [the Jewish scriptures] were very wisely selected and inserted in well-suited places. Congratulations for all the team who prepared the movie. Keep on assuring a good distribution of it!”
Luiza CAROL, Writer
Israeli delegate of TEVA (World Association of Esperantist Vegetarians)
“Even knowing the issues and arguments, being a long-term environmentalist and vegetarian, I was taken in by the beauty and power of this remarkable film. A Sacred Duty is a must see and a must do, so that we and our children may live. I have already shared the film with rabbis and others and am in the process of scheduling screenings at my synagogue, other synagogues, the Jewish Community Center, and my local vegetarian society.”
–Dan Brook, Ph.D.
The Vegetarian Mitzvah0
“I enjoyed the video so much that I am planning to teach two courses on Tikun Olam next semester: one for a 4 part adult ed series and another for a 12 part high school program. Keep up the great work.”
Rabbi Aaron Rosenberg
“My gut feeling is that because of the major impression this video will make on the world the battle to have the lives of billions of animals has just turned in favor of the animals.
“In my opinion this is a “A MAJOR MASTERPIECE” and officially marks the real beginning of the end of animal factory farms and slaughterhouses throughout the world.
“I cannot imagine any rational person in the world, no matter what his or her religious or spiritual beliefs may be, who will watch this video and not be extremely moved and strongly persuaded to stop eating animal flesh.
“Now that I have watched the film “A Sacred Duty” for the second time my gut instincts tell me the battle to reach the goal of shutting down animal factory farms and slaughterhouses is now clearly and really within reach, within a much shorter period of time then anyone thought possible.
“You only have to watch the film to understand and agree with my conclusion.
“In my opinion, soon to be shared by millions of people, the film A Sacred Duty is the most brilliant, intelligent, thought provoking, and heart wrenching film ever produced for the benefit of humans, farm animals, the earth, and the earth’s atmosphere.
“In only “one hour” because of the quality, the content, and the magnificent presentation, the film “A Sacred Duty” will reach out and grasp you in your heart and soul.
“The quality of the content and the presentation is off the charts. You will be left with a feeling of exhilaration because you will realize the solutions to solving many of the worlds most serious problems is now clearly within reach.
“The one hour long documentary film — A Sacred Duty — (Applying Jewish Values To Help Heal The World) must be viewed by a large number of people as soon as possible.
“This MAJOR MASTERPIECE will go a long way in reaching the goal of emancipating all farm animals from the jaws of animal factory farms and slaughterhouses. (FOR REAL)
“Freeing billions of Gods precious creatures from completely unnecessary torture and murder is “no longer a pipe dream.”
“Because A Sacred Duty is such a powerful and convincing presentation it has the potential of persuading a large number of people throughout the world to become vegetarians or vegans soon. At least 90% of the people that initially watch the DVD will probably be extremely happy to promote it any way they can. For this important reason the DVD needs to be provided to many government leaders in every country. Several copies of A Sacred Duty should be provided to every high school, college, and church in the world, as well as a large number of newspapers. The video should be viewed by every man, woman, and mature child in the world.”
Arthur Poletti, Author
“A Sacred Duty is exquisitely beautiful & heartbreakingly horrific, edifying from its perspective of assuming responsibility & certainly inspires commitment to tikkun olam – I congradulate you on a profoundly holy work, Lionel. Have heard lots about your splendid talent so was expecting the film to be quite incredible but – wow!”
Santa Barbara Community College
“I received my copy of the “Sacred Duty” DVD yesterday. My wife and I, along with my two youngest children (Sam and Jacob, 15 and 12) screened the movie last night. My wife has been a vegetarian since the age of 8, and the boys have never knowingly eaten meat of any kind (I gave up red meat in 1992, fowl in 2001, and seafood in 2004). My 18 year old son is a lifelong vegetarian, and my 20 year old daughter vacillates (depending on the eating habits of her boyfriend of the moment…).
“All four of us were deeply moved by the film. The impact of the material is unquestionably powerful from any perspective. We agreed in our discussion afterwards that we did not want anything to do with food whose source we could not verify as cruelty free. This morning, we discarded all the eggs and cheese in our refrigerator and replaced everything with locally farmed products whose sources we could actually visit and see with our own eyes.
“I surely hope the publicity efforts will result in a large viewing audience. My entire family thanks you for your personal efforts to shift the world away from meat-based diets.”
Steve Schuster, CEO
Rainier Communications – “Technology’s Most Credible Voice”
“My review: The film gives a great Torah-spiritual rational for going vegetarian. A human and humane, Divine and appetizing vegetarian smorgasbord. For people of all spiritual and not so spiritual persuasions. A kiddush Hashem [sanctification of G-d’s Name.].”
Mark Feffer, Israeli vegetarian activist
“Greetings from Bombay.
“I immediately saw it and am deciding to show it to an appropriate audience during my talks on vegetarianism. Off and on I am invited to give talks and will surely promote it.
“Two days ago I have mailed a letter to your USA address expressing my sincere thanks.
“I must congratulate the entire team for all their efforts in producing this DVD. On our side we will do our best to promote it.”
Hiren N. Kara
“I just received my copy of Sacred Duty. This movie is an outstanding achievement and is an historic achievement for the Jewish community. I will share my review of the particulars. I believe one of the strengths of the movie are the variety of the interviews. Another is the Torah readings in both English and Hebrew. What I really like is the case we make that Kosher is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for food production and consumption because there are also mandates to be kind to animals, to care for our health, and not to waste environmental resources.”
“Last night it was quiet enough for a group of us to sit and watch the video. We thought it was worth watching twice through! I am quite impressed by the beauty of the images and the breadth of representation from a range of Jewish perspectives.”
Susan Beckerman, active in the Reconstructionist movement and in West End Synagogue
“I watched “A Sacred Duty” yesterday. “Watched” is too passive a word to describe the experience I had engaging with this documentary, which galvanized me to become a more outspoken and more effective environmental and animal rights activist – and, of equal importance, brought me closer to Judaism. The interviews in the film with Jewish leaders were a balm to my soul and gave me greater hope than I have felt in a very long time not only about the future of creation, but about the future of Judaism. I shall share the copies I received of the DVD as widely as I possibly can, and with the greatest of passion.
“Thank you so much for producing this film. G-d bless you.”
Jampa Napthali Williams, Author
“A Sacred Duty is very moving, intelligent and inspiring.
“I wish every cultural group, religious and secular, could persuade its community to live consciously and responsibly on this planet. A Sacred Duty attempts to do just that for the Jewish community – and the result is a deeply inspiring film with universal appeal.
“If ever we humans needed compassion and justice as our guides, this is the time. ‘Business as usual’ is unsustainable. Denial makes us participants in horrific suffering and death. In an elegantly reasoned way, A Sacred Duty shows how it is within our power as individuals to turn things around and thereby save ourselves, our fellow animals, and our beautiful planet.
“I wish the film great success!”
Myriam Alaux, Producer/Director (The Animals Film)
1 Reply to "What people have said about the documentary, "A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal Our Imperilled Planet""
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January 18, 2017 (8:49 pm)
Thank you, Richard Schwartz, for sharing this link with me. I LOVE showing A Sacred Duty to meetings that I organize, when in Israel, or America, or elsewhere. The last viewing was at JACLA (the Jewish Activities Center of Los Angeles) held on Wednesday 22nd of June, 2016 on the Shabbat of Beha’alotecha. In the “crowd” of participants, were a couple of Rabbis, Rabbi Mel Gottlieb, known for his outspoken understanding of the ecology, and activist vegan Rabbi Jonathan Bubis. Their reaction after watching the movie was outstanding, as was the buzz from all of the friends who saw this together, on the large screen, commenting on it all out loud, in peace and harmony!
Feel free to leave your comments about starting a “New” Vegan-Shabbat “DAY” (as one of the recognized Jewish Holidays, possibly starting where else, but in Israel, where Jewish Holidays are part of the society at large) to be linked to the Shabbat Parsha of Beha’alotecha? There already is World Vegan Day on Nov. 1st recognized worldwide, but to have a Holiday that is not only vegan but Jewish (which is why it’s linked to that Shabbat when the story of the quail is read as in Beha’alotecha) is truly showing, quoting Rabbi Asa Keiser, that Veganism IS a Jewish Ideal, isn’t it?
What is happening now, is that there is talk about creating a topic in Israel, following a speech given by Rabbi Asa Keisar in Eilat, that studying about the vegan lifestyle can be a regular “class” just as Mathematics, Bible, Science, Geography is a “subject” at elementary schools, and, naturally, middle and high school as well, and I am hoping to copy this initiative as well, targeting both junior colleges and Universities where I’ve studied and continue to learn, presently, because education is at best, proven to be quite informative, (hopefully!) and would possibly be quite the best way to let others know, and with your permission will introduce the full movie of A Sacred Duty into the classrooms!
Thank you for your efforts, Richard Schwartz, and for continuing carrying out your passion with the greatest compassion, because you are truly gifted and talented in speaking out, persuasive, clear in what OUR purpose is here on earth (to be vegan, of course) and you produce marvelous results, as is evident from your thought-provoking and eye-opening and memorable segments all meshing together extremely well from beginning to end, Kol Hakavod כל הכבוד! and I suggest working one day on a sequel to this very special movie, “A Sacred Duty,” maybe “A Sacred Duty DOUBLED?” ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, if more people followed your example and duplicated your efforts, imagine how powerful that would be, and do you think the time, now, is right?