The Vision of Eden: Animal Welfare and Vegetarianism in Jewish Law and Mysticism

David Sears

Publisher: Orot Inc.

The Vision of Eden presents a Jewish view of the universe, drawing upon both Talmudic and Kabbalistic sources, with a special focus on the issues of animal welfare and vegetarianism. While sympathetic to vegetarianism, the author has created a comprehensive anthology that presents a wide range of material representing multiple points of view. Much of this material has never before been translated, including copious selections from the writings of the Chassidic masters and Rav Abraham Isaac Kook.

Rabbinic approbations:

Every reader of this unique and holy book will benefit extensively from it. Indeed, this book, The Vision of Eden, makes one feel that he has been handed a key to open the closed gates of the Garden of Eden that were shut to us ever since Adam was expelled, and the angels with swords in hand surrounded it, preventing us even from knocking on its gates, let alone entering it…
Rabbi Shear-Yashuv Cohen, Chief Rabbi of Haifa

The Torah teaches compassion for every living creature. To study its detail is to study the essence of God. Rabbi Sears has done extensive and valuable research into a topic the world depends on for its existence…
Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Monsey, NY

What Jewish Vegetarians Are Saying About “The Vision of Eden”

“David Sears has written a remarkable book that, while brilliantly researched within the context of the Jewish religion, is universal in the themes presented. The Vision of Eden is a book that everyone seeking a deeper connection to their spiritual identity needs to read.”

Rene David Alkalay
Author: Kabbalah in Motion
Executive Director: The Genesis Society

“This is a wonderful book, a necessary book, a just book which will contribute much to clarifying where Judaism stands on the issue of meat, vegetarianism, and animal welfare. …Sears seems to know – and to have gathered together to our great advantage – all the texts that pertain to tsa’ar ba’alei chaim (the Jewish tradition that states that it is forbidden to cause pain to an animal except under specific conditions of human need, and that that pain should be as minimal as possible.)”

Roberta Kalechovsky
General Editor: Micah Publications
Author: Vegetarian Judaism

“Currently most Jews eat meat and other animal products, and relatively few Jews seem concerned about the cruel mistreatment of animals on factory farms and in other areas. However, David Sears landmark book, with its many examples of Jewish teachings about compassion for animals, has the potential to change all of this…His book goes beyond those of other Jewish scholars who have written about Jewish teachings on animals because he combines his extensive knowledge of Judaism with an awareness of how far realities related to how society treats animals differ from the demands of Jewish teachings, and he is committed to making others aware of the need to end these discrepancies.”

Richard Schwartz
Author: Judaism and Vegetarianism,
Judaism and Global Survival
President, Jewish Vegetarians of North America

“Sears is lucid, accessible (even to the uninitiated) and thorough. He seems to have integrated every conceivable Jewish source pertaining to animal welfare… To his credit, Sears does not omit or misconstrue sources that are contrary to current religious or political agendas. Nor does he gloss over the “marked ambivalence” of the Jewish tradition toward vegetarianism… [However, he] respectfully encourages the Gedolei Yisrael to resolve the halachic challenges posed by factory-farm conditions — not only tza’ar baalei chayim but also “kashrut problems” that result from “an increase in sickness among animals” and the “inevitably higher margin of error in mass production” of meat, as well as the health and ecological harm caused by animal-based diets.”

Phineas E. Leahey, The Jewish Press

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