Bal Tashchit

Water Torah


Bal Tashchit  בל תשחית (literally “Do Not Destroy”) is a fundamental ethical principle in Judaism.  It is based on the Mitzvah in Deuteronomy 20:19–20 which says it is forbidden to cut down fruit trees.  The Talmud expanded the concept of Bal Tashchit to include all forms of senseless damage or waste.  It has become a central aspect of the ethical character of the Jewish people.  Today, the destruction of the ocean and waterways of the world through pollution, single use plastic products and simple carelessness, represent a blatant violation of the ethical principle of Bal Tashchit.

Marine Debris

As we dive, snorkel, boat, kayak, or just stroll the beach enjoying the beauty of the sea, all too often we are accosted by human garbage. Our oceans, rivers, and lakes are littered with the cast off rubbish of humans.

Where Does It Come From?

Image Source: 4Ocean

What Does It Do?

Image Source: NOAA

What We Are Doing


Tikkun HaYam Fights Against Marine Debris


Dive Against Debris

Twice a month, divers are taken out on our boat (Ally’s Way) to clean our adopted reef (St. Petersburg Downtown Reef). Check out images of our clean ups here, and find our debris data here.

Kayak Clean ups

Tikkun HaYam uses kayaks, paddle boards, and snorkels to get deep into mangrove roots to remove trapped debris which harms the juvenile species that use mangroves as their homes.

Reverse Tashlich

The first annual Reverse Tashlich will take place September 16th. Congregations across Florida will pull sins from the water in beach and shore-front clean ups. You can sign up to participate here



We are currently working on a line of "Re-Jews-Able" products, made from recycled materials. Stay tuned to purchase your very own set to limit your waste footprint.

What You Can Do


The number one thing we can do to keep trash from our ocean, is reduce the debris we create. We can very easily say no to single use plastics, such as straws, plastic water bottles, and plastic utensils. You can easily bring your own mug and bottle with you, take shopping bags with you, or use reusable containers to store food. As consumers we can make change by not buying items in plastic, and instead opting for glass, cardboard, or other reusable or compostable options.

Additionally, we can make sure the debris we do make is properly disposed of. Ensure that you’re recycling when possible, to keep plastic out of the ocean, and limit the amount of new debris made.  You can find a recycling station here.

Our Dive Against Debris programs contribute data to Project AWARE about the trash that is going into the ocean, join our dives to learn more!

Tikkun HaYam

Repair the Sea




© 2016 by Tikkun HaYam/Repair the Sea. 


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