"Our best minds should look into all types of societies, seeking wisdom
EVANA: Very recently you published, along with Rabbi Yonassan Gershom, "Who Stole My Religion? Revitalizing Judaism and applying Jewish values to help heal our imperiled planet". What is the main point that you want to bring out in your new book?
Richard H. Schwartz: I wanted to increase awareness that the world is rapidly approaching climate, food, water, and energy catastrophes, and that applying the values of Judaism (and other religions) is essential to efforts to avert these devastations. I hope to convince Jews to become actively involved in working toward global survival and Jewish renewal, working for radical changes that will lead to a society where there is a major reduction in oppression, violence, hunger, environmental destruction, poverty, and alienation. As the sub-title indicates, my intention for writing the book has been the wish to help revitalize Judaism and assist in shifting our imperiled planet to a sustainable path.
Who is your intended audience?
This may sound ambitious, but I believe my book can be of interest and value to every adult: to Jews who are alienated from Judaism because of the failure of much of the Jewish community to adequately respond to current threats, by discussing Judaism's powerful teachings on peace, justice, compassion, and environmental sustainability; to Jews who are committed strongly to Judaism but are unaware of or downplaying Judaism's teachings that can play valuable roles in averting current crises; to Jews who are unaware of current environmental and other threats, in the hope that they will get actively involved. Also, since other religions have similar problems and concerns, I believe that many non-Jews will also find this book interesting, challenging, informative, and valuable. Several of the commendations (blurbs) presented for the book are from Christians and one is from a Muslim..
The complete interview: