Suburban Sprawl, Jewish Law, and Jewish Values


The article explains how automobile-dependent suburban sprawl is in conflict with Jewish law and Jewish values. This is so in three ways. First, Jewish law requires Jews to make the poor self-supporting- but suburban sprawl creates welfare dependency by making it impossible for poor people without cars to reach jobs in auto-dependent suburbs. Second, Jewish law requires Jews to walk rather than ride to services on holy days- but in most low-density suburbs, very few people can live within walking distance of a synagogue (or anything else for that matter). Third, Jewish law has traditionally discouraged development of rural land and closely regulated air pollution- but suburban sprawl creates both.


Environmental Law

Date of this Version

August 2004