Baal Tashchit: Contractions

Posted by Meesh Hammer-Kossoy on January 19, 2021
Topics: Pardes Daily

Pardes Daily – Baal Tashchit: Contractions

Episode 2

Sources: Bava Kamma 91b:17-92a:3, Sefer HaChinukh 529:3

Course Description: Because the Human is a Tree in the Field: Deuteronomy 20 prohibits the downing of fruit-bearing trees in times of war. We will explore the simple and deep meaning of this mitzvah (commandment) as it expands and contracts over the course of 3 millennia of interpretation, both as a technical commandment and as a symbol for our relationship with consumption, sustainability, and the natural world. Is “the human a tree of the field”? (Deut. 20:19) Find out in our Tu Bishvat Daily Challenge!

Host: Rabbi Dr. Meesh Hammer-Kossoy
Producer: Rabba Shani Gross
Podcast Editor: Evan Feist

About Meesh Hammer-Kossoy

Meesh is the Director of the Pardes Year Program, where she has been making her professional home since 1999. Originally from Washington, D.C., Meesh has a B.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University. Her dissertation explored the courageous manner in which the rabbis of the Talmud created a new criminal punishment system. In 2015, Meesh completed her studies at Beit Midrash Har'el and received ordination from Rabbi Herzl Hefter and Rabbi Daniel Sperber. Click here to read more.

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