Review of “Judaism and Global Survival – 20th Anniversary Edition”
Tikun Olam. What a wonderful Hebrew phrase! Once again, my very dear friend Richard Schwartz has imbued the saying with more potent meaning than I think I have ever seen. This 20th anniversary edition of Judaism and Global Survival elevates that concept—the “Healing of the World”—to its most relevant position in the history not only of our people but of humanity in general. As we move from the Holocene to the Anthropocene era we face challenges never before experienced in our planet’s history as humanity itself drives the world we live on a relentless pathway to destruction. But this book is not just another litany of woe and doom. It offers hope and guidance as we struggle to come to terms with our overwhelming impact on this fragile and undeniably imperiled world.
I reiterate what I said in the first edition to this book. There are woefully few examples of lone individuals like Richard Schwartz who bravely rose up to identify the underlying causes of problems that plague nations, societies, the environment and the course of geological time in order to bring about the kind of healing that might restore harmony and balance to our world before it really is too late. But there is no time left. The hands of the clock now indicate less than a minute to midnight. Can we do it? Will we do it? If we take heed of Richard’s words we may still be able to salvage what is not already lost. This book is a major blueprint, an operating manual if you like, to guide us in our custodianship of what we inherited from our forefathers and all those who came before us.
Soundly basing his views, explanations and examples on cold, hard, empirically provable science and on the profound teachings of the Torah and the wisdom and compassion of our ancient faith, he reminds us that we can still perform our duty as a “Light unto the nations.” Judaism and Global Survival is essential reading for every Jew on this planet but it should also be required reading for everyone, regardless of faith, identity, ethnicity and background. We’re all in this battle for our souls and the continued survival of our planet together and, once again, I applaud Richard as a maverick and as a tzaddik, a truly righteous man in every sense of the word. He is one of the few individuals who gives me a sense that there is still hope if we act now to reverse the trends that are pushing us over the brink.”—Lionel Friedberg, Emmy Award-winning producer, director, writer, and documentarian; producer of A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World