Aaron L. Mackler
This chapter discusses the distribution of health care, an issue that has become particularly urgent and controversial in recent years because the median age of populations in most English-speaking countries age has risen, so more people need more extensive medical care. This is happening, though, just, as medical science produces new but often expensive interventions that people come to expect, and, as a result of these factors and others, health care costs have risen dramatically. The chapter considers the Jewish principles that might guide the discussion of who gets what in medical care, and who pays for it.
This chapter discusses Jewish environmental ethics. It focuses on what two central biblical stories—the Garden of Eden and the Flood—tell us about Jewish ecological ethics as the Torah itself tells those stories, and as the later rabbis interpreted and expanded them, with special concern for the emerging ethics of Eco-Judaism. In so doing, the chapter illustrates how the Jewish tradition uses midrash, the interpretation of texts and their literary nuances, to discover meanings in sacred texts that make them ever relevant to us in changing times and circumstances. It briefly develops one of the Torah's laws on ecology, and an emerging interest on the part of some Jews to understand God differently to reflect our current ecological understanding of life as one integrated whole, in order to demonstrate how Jewish law and theology are relevant to ecology.