Torah, nature, and agriculture (general)
Jewish environmentalism
Ethnobotany (general)
Botanical resources
Biblical Gardens
Science and Torah
Maror (lettuce, horseradish, and other species)
Sodom Apple (Calotropis procera)

Here are some publications and Web sites that you may find useful for learning about Biblical botany and the significance of plants and nature in Torah and Jewish tradition. The locations of some Biblical gardens are listed, as well. This is not an exhaustive list, by any means, nor does listing a site here represent an endorsement. If you would like to suggest additional books, Web sites, or other resources, please e-mail them to me at or use the comments option at the end of an essay to leave a message.

Torah, nature, and agriculture (general)

Amar, Zohar. 2012. Tzimchei HaMikra (Plants of the Bible). Reuven Mas, Jerusalem.

Feliks, Yehuda.1981. Nature & Man in the Bible, Chapters in Biblical Ecology. Soncino Press, London. (Translated from Hebrew)

Gardner, Jo Ann. 2014. Seeds of Transcendence: Understanding the Hebrew Bible Through Plants. Decalogue Books, Mt. Vernon, NY.

Goodfriend, Elaine. 2019. Shekhar: Is it wine or beer?

Greenberg, Jon. 2021. Fruits of Freedom, The Torah Flora Hagadah., Pennsauken, NJ.

Greenberg, Jon, interviewed by Netanel Zellis-Paley. 2020. Pesachim No. 2: A Leaf of Faith. Interleaved podcast
Excerpts from this interview were included in Interleaved’s Seder overview siyum on the conclusion of Masechet Pesachim.

HaReuveni, Nogah. 1980. Nature in our Biblical Heritage. Neot Kedumim, Lod, Israel. (Translated from Hebrew)

HaReuveni, Nogah. 1984. Tree and Shrub in our Biblical Heritage. Neot Kedumim, Lod, Israel. (Translated from Hebrew)

HaReuveni, Nogah. 2000. Desert and Shepherd in our Biblical Heritage. Neot Kedumim, Lod, Israel. (Translated from Hebrew) Rabbi Drew Kaplan’s Web site for podcasts and videos about alcoholic beverages in Jewish history, culture, and religion. The Jewish Drinking Show Episode 116: Pharaoh’s Cupbearer and Baker as Cultural Conflict of Wine vs. Beer Featuring Dr. Jon Greenberg

Kapach, Rav Yosef Kapach. 2005. Machberet Tzimchei HaMishna [Notebook on Plants of the Mishna]. Mishpachat Kapach, Jerusalem.

Neot Kedumim, The Biblical Landscape Reserve in Israel

Otzar Haaretz (Shmitah observance)

Roman, Rachel. 2022. Uprooting the Wandering Jew. Tablet Magazine.

Sales, Ben. 2014. What did King David drink? Israeli wine researchers aim to revive ancient libations.

Zoo Torah (Animals in Torah and Judaism)

The Candelabra (article about the symbolism of the Temple menorah by Dr. Russell Jay Hendel)

Innernet (Online Jewish magazine; page of essays about Judaism)

Flowers in Israel (photos and information about plants in Israel)

Flora, faith, and folklore in the Land of the Bible

Shauli, Rabbi Moshe Cohen. 1989. Marfeh HaBosem [The Herbal Cure]. Shauli Center, Ashdod, Israel. (folk medical uses of plants found in Israel today, with discussion of their Biblical or Jewish significance)

Jan Pieter van de Giessen’s biblical botany blog (in Dutch)

Caper Bushes

Jewish environmentalism

American Society for the Preservation of Nature in Israel (ASPNI)

Canfei Nesharim (Torah-oriented environmental education organization)

Eitz Chayim Hee (Canfei Nesharim’s weekly environmental parsha commentary)

Two articles that I wrote for Eitz Chayim Hee:

Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL)

The House on the Mountain (Kabbalistic study course on environmental issues)

Heschel Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership

Derech HaTeva (Nature programs in Israel)

Hava & Adam Eco-Educational Farm in Modiin, Israel and Eco-Israel Program


The Jew and the Carrot (“Jews, food, and social issues”)

The Jewish Nature Center (New Jersey)

Green Jewish World

Outdoor Jewish Adventures

Wilderness Torah

Ethnobotany (general)

The Food Museum

4,000 year-old lentil seed from Turkish archaeological site sprouts

Ancient Foods Blog

Sacred Earth (Ecotravel and ethnobotany)

Foraging with the “Wildman” (Learn to identify wild food and medicinal plants on hikes with Steve Brill)

Botanical resources

Botanic Gardens Conservation International

Denver Botanic Gardens (including a Biblical garden)

Wild Flowers of Israel

Flowers of Israel

Flora of Israel Online by Prof. Avinaom Danin
in English
in Hebrew

Missouri Botanical Garden

Purdue University Center for New Crops and Plant Products (Includes CropINDEX, an extensive database of information about cultivated plants)

Biblical Gardens

Neot Kedumim (Israel; near Jerusalem)

Denver Botanic Gardens (includes a Biblical garden)

Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden (Pittsburgh)

Warsaw Biblical Gardens (Warsaw, IN)

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens (Hebrew University Campus, Jerusalem, Israeal)

Science and Torah

Torah Flora lecture on science and changing understanding of Torah (Valley Beit Midrash, Phoenix, AZ, Nov. 11, 2021)

B’Or HaTorah (“Journal of Science, Art, & Life in the Light of Torah”)

Maror (lettuce, horseradish, and other species)

General information about lettuce:

Lettuce–From wild weed to functional food

Schaffer, Arthur. 1981. The history of horseradish as the bitter herb of Passover. Gesher 5741, no. 8. Pp. 217-237. Yeshiva University, New York, NY. (Information and wild lettuce products)


Mountain Valley Growers

Sodom Apple (Calotropis procera)

HaReuveni, Hannah and Ephraim HaReuveni. 1938. Ha-a’ra’r. in Sefer Magnes. Hebrew University Press.


Washington Dept. of Ecology, Non-native Invasive Freshwater Plants, Salt Cedar (Tamarix)

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