Judaism Beliefs on Pollution

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Pollution, according to the Oxford Dictionary is to destroy the purity of, or outrage the sanctity of. There are several types of pollution, such as noise, air, water, and land. Pollution comes under environmental ethics, as contaminated items effect the environment surrounding us. Pollution is within the Jewish environmental beliefs.

Rulings under Jewish law also expand to psychological disturbances, such as possible publicity to a neighbour's observation and noises. Anyone suffering such disturbances may appeal to the courts to force his neighbour to remove the disturbances. This may include the removal of the cause of the noise, even if its removal will cause the owner financial hardship. Four particular disturbances are especially likely to lead to legal action according to Jewish law: smoke, sewage odours, dust and similar aerosols, and vibrations. Even if permission had initially been given, the offended neighbour can withdraw it. All of these are forms of pollution which are a source of great concern to this day. In particular, halakhah limits the closeness to the city to prevent air pollution within the city. Halakhah is the Jewish law, including biblical, Talmudic and rabbinic law. The genius of halakhah has been its ability to apply the knowledge of ancient principles to ever-new situations. Damage such as littering in public places is also included in the prohibition against causing damage -if not according to the letter of halakhah, then according to its spirit. At least one example of such legislation is: furnaces were forbidden in Jerusalem because the smoke blackened the walls of the houses, "and this is a disgrace." If your neighbour lets you commit various minor types of damage for three years without saying anything, you may assume that he isn’t bothered by what you’re doing. But, the Talmud defines a list that you must always assume are intolerable to your neighbour. For however long your neighbour puts up with your disturbances, his...
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