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Encyclopedia > Jewish ethics

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Jews and Judaism This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

         

Who is a Jew? · Etymology · Culture Image File history File links Star_of_David. ... Image File history File links Menora. ... Who is a Jew? (‎) is a commonly considered question that addresses the question of Jewish identity. ... Look up Jew in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Secular Jewish culture embraces several related phenomena; above all, it is the culture of secular communities of Jewish people, but it can also include the cultural contributions of individuals who identify as secular Jews, or even those of religious Jews working in cultural areas not generally considered to be connected...

Judaism · Core principles
God · Tanakh (Torah, Nevi'im, Ketuvim)
Mitzvot (613) · Talmud · Halakha
Holidays · Prayer · Tzedakah
Ethics · Kabbalah · Customs · Midrash This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... There are a number of basic Jewish principles of faith that were formulated by medieval rabbinic authorities. ... At the bottom of the hands, the two letters on each hand combine to form יהוה (YHVH), the name of God. ... For the musical collective, see Tanakh (band). ... Template:Jews and Jewdaism Template:The Holy Book Named TorRah The Torah () is the most valuable Holy Doctrine within Judaism,(and for muslims) revered as the first relenting Word of Ulllah, traditionally thought to have been revealed to Blessed Moosah, An Apostle of Ulllah. ... Neviim [נביאים] (Heb: Prophets) is the second of the three major sections in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), following the Torah and preceding Ketuvim (writings). ... Ketuvim is the third and final section of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). ... This article is about commandments in Judaism. ... Main article: Mitzvah 613 Mitzvot or 613 Commandments (Hebrew: ‎ transliterated as Taryag mitzvot; TaRYaG is the acronym for the numeric value of 613) are a list of commandments from God in the Torah. ... The Talmud (Hebrew: תַּלְמוּד) is a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs and history. ... Halakha (Hebrew: הלכה; also transliterated as Halakhah, Halacha, Halakhot and Halachah with pronunciation emphasis on the third syllable, kha), is the collective corpus of Jewish religious law, including biblical law (the 613 mitzvot) and later talmudic and rabbinic law as well as customs and traditions. ... A Jewish holiday or Jewish Festival is a day or series of days observed by Jews as holy or secular commemorations of important events in Jewish history. ... Jewish services (Hebrew: תפלה, tefillah ; plural תפלות, tefillot ; Yinglish: davening) are the prayer recitations which form part of the observance of Judaism. ... Tzedakah (Hebrew: צדקה) in Judaism, is the Hebrew term most commonly translated as charity, though it is based on a root meaning justice .(צדק). Judaism is very tied to the concept of tzedakah, or charity, and the nature of Jewish giving has created a North American Jewish community that is very philanthropic. ... This article is about traditional Jewish Kabbalah. ... Minhag (Hebrew: מנהג Custom, pl. ... Midrash (Hebrew: מדרש; plural midrashim) is a Hebrew word referring to a method of exegesis of a Biblical text. ...

Jewish ethnic divisions
Ashkenazi · Sephardi · Mizrahi Jewish ethnic divisions refers to a number of distinct Jewish communities within the worlds ethnically Jewish population. ... Language(s) Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, English Religion(s) Judaism Related ethnic groups Sephardi Jews, Mizrahi Jews, and other Jewish ethnic divisions Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim (Standard Hebrew: sing. ... Languages Hebrew, Ladino, Judæo-Portuguese, Catalanic, Shuadit, local languages Religions Judaism Related ethnic groups Ashkenazi Jews, Mizrahi Jews, other Jewish ethnic divisions, Spaniards, Portuguese. ... Languages Hebrew, Dzhidi, Judæo-Arabic, Gruzinic, Bukhori, Judeo-Berber, Juhuri and Judæo-Aramaic Religions Judaism Related ethnic groups Ashkenazi Jews, Sephardi Jews, other Jewish ethnic divisions and Arabs. ...

Population (historical) · By country
Israel · Iran · Australia · USA
Russia/USSR · Poland · Canada
Germany · France · England · Scotland
India · Spain · Portugal · Latin America
Under Muslim rule · Turkey · Iraq · Lebanon · Syria
Lists of Jews · Crypto-Judaism Jewish population centers have shifted tremendously over time, due to the constant streams of Jewish refugees created by expulsions, persecution, and officially sanctioned killing of Jews in various places at various times. ... Jews by country Who is a Jew? Jewish ethnic divisions Ashkenazi Jews Sephardi Jews Black Jews Black Hebrew Israelites Y-chromosomal Aaron Jewish population Historical Jewish population comparisons List of religious populations Lists of Jews Crypto-Judaism Etymology of the word Jew Categories: | ... The vast territories of the Russian Empire at one time hosted the largest Jewish population in the world. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The earliest date at which Jews arrived in Scotland is not known. ... For a list of individuals of Jewish origin by country in Latin America, see List of Latin American Jews. ... Excluding the region of Palestine, and omitting the accounts of Joseph and Moses as unverifiable, Jews have lived in what are now Arab and non-Arab Muslim (i. ... List of Jewish historians List of Jewish scientists and philosophers List of Jewish nobility List of Jewish inventors List of Jewish jurists List of Jews in literature and journalism List of Jews in the performing arts List of Jewish actors and actresses List of Jewish musicians List of Jews in... Crypto-Judaism is the secret adherence to Judaism while publicly professing to be of another faith; people who practice crypto-Judaism are referred to as crypto-Jews. The term crypto-Jew is also used to describe descendants of Jews who still (generally secretly) maintain some Jewish traditions, often while adhering...

Jewish denominations · Rabbis
Orthodox · Conservative · Reform
Reconstructionist · Liberal · Karaite
Humanistic · Renewal  · Alternative Several groups, sometimes called denominations, branches, or movements, have developed among Jews of the modern era, especially Ashkenazi Jews living in anglophone countries. ... For the town in Italy, see Rabbi, Italy. ... Orthodox Judaism is the formulation of Judaism that adheres to a relatively strict interpretation and application of the laws and ethics first canonised in the Talmudic texts (Oral Torah) and as subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and Acharonim. ... This article is about Conservative (Masorti) Judaism in the United States. ... Reform Judaism can refer to (1) the largest denomination of American Jews and its sibling movements in other countries, (2) a branch of Judaism in the United Kingdom, and (3) the historical predecessor of the American movement that originated in 19th-century Germany. ... Reconstructionist Judaism is a modern American-based Jewish movement, based on the ideas of the late Mordecai Kaplan, that views Judaism as a progressively evolving civilization. ... Liberal Judaism is a term used by some communities worldwide for what is otherwise also known as Reform Judaism or Progressive Judaism. ... Karaite Judaism or Karaism is a Jewish movement characterized by the sole reliance on the Tanakh as scripture, and the rejection of the Oral Law (the Mishnah and the Talmud) as halakha (Legally Binding, i. ... Humanistic Judaism is a movement within Judaism that emphasizes Jewish culture and history - rather than belief in God - as the sources of Jewish identity. ... Jewish Renewal is a new religious movement in Judaism which endeavors to reinvigorate modern Judaism with mystical, Hasidic, musical and meditative practices. ... Alternative Judaism refers to several varieties of modern Judaism which fall outside the common Orthodox/Non-Orthodox (Reform/Conservative/Reconstructionist) classification of the four major streams of todays Judaism. ...

Jewish languages
Hebrew · Yiddish · Judeo-Persian
Ladino · Judeo-Aramaic · Judeo-Arabic
The Jewish languages are a set of languages that developed in various Jewish communities, in Europe, southern and south-western Asia, and northern Africa. ... “Hebrew” redirects here. ... Yiddish (Yid. ... The Judæo-Persian languages include a number of related languages spoken throughout the formerly extensive realm of the Persian Empire, sometimes including all the Jewish Indo-Iranian languages: Dzhidi (Judæo-Persian) Bukhori (Judæo-Bukharic) Judæo-Golpaygani Judæo-Yazdi Judæo-Kermani Judæo-Shirazi Jud... Not to be confused with Ladin. ... Judæo-Aramaic is a collective term used to describe several Hebrew-influenced Aramaic and Neo-Aramaic languages. ... The Judeo-Arabic languages are a collection of Arabic dialects spoken by Jews living or formerly living in Arabic-speaking countries; the term also refers to more or less classical Arabic written in the Hebrew script, particularly in the Middle Ages. ...

History · Timeline · Leaders
Ancient · Temple · Babylonian exile
Jerusalem (in Judaism · Timeline)
Hasmoneans · Sanhedrin · Schisms
Pharisees · Jewish-Roman wars
Relationship with Christianity; with Islam
Diaspora · Middle Ages · Sabbateans
Hasidism · Haskalah · Emancipation
Holocaust · Aliyah · Israel (History)
Arab conflict · Land of Israel
Baal teshuva movement This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This is a timeline of the development of Judaism and the Jewish people. ... Jewish leadership: Since 70 AD and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem there has been no single body that has a leadership position over the entire Jewish community. ... For the pre-history of the region, see Pre-history of the Southern Levant. ... The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple (Hebrew: בית המקדש, transliterated Bet HaMikdash and meaning literally The Holy House) was located on the Temple Mount (Har HaBayit) in the old city of Jerusalem. ... Babylonian captivity also refers to the permanence of the Avignon Papacy. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ... Main article: Religious significance of Jerusalem Jerusalem has been the holiest city in Judaism and the spiritual homeland of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE.[1] Jerusalem has long been embedded into Jewish religious consciousness. ... 1800 BCE - The Jebusites build the wall Jebus (Jerusalem). ... The Hasmoneans (Hebrew: , Hashmonaiym, Audio) were the ruling dynasty of the Hasmonean Kingdom (140 BCE–37 BCE),[1] an autonomous Jewish state in ancient Israel. ... For the tractate in the Mishnah, see Sanhedrin (tractate). ... Schisms among the Jews are cultural as well as religious. ... For the followers of the Vilna Gaon, see Perushim. ... Combatants Roman Empire Jews of Iudaea Province Commanders Vespasian, Titus Simon Bar-Giora, Yohanan mi-Gush Halav (John of Gischala), Eleazar ben Simon Strength 70,000? 1,100,000? Casualties Unknown 1,100,000? (majority Jewish civilian casualties) Jewish-Roman wars First War – Kitos War – Bar Kokhba revolt The first... Judaism and Christianity are two closely related Abrahamic religions that in some ways parallel each other and in other ways fundamentally diverge in theology and practice. ... This article is about the historical interaction between Islam and Judaism. ... The Jewish diaspora (Hebrew: Tefutzah, scattered, or Galut גלות, exile, Yiddish: tfutses), the Jewish presence outside of the Land of Israel is a result of the expulsion of the Jewish people out of their land, during the destruction of the First Temple, Second Temple and after the Bar Kokhba revolt. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Not to be confused with Sabians followers of an ancient religion in Babylonia. ... This article is about the Hasidic movement originating in Poland and Russia. ... Haskalah (Hebrew: השכלה; enlightenment, education from sekhel intellect, mind ), the Jewish Enlightenment, was a movement among European Jews in the late 18th century that advocated adopting enlightenment values, pressing for better integration into European society, and increasing education in secular studies, Hebrew, and Jewish history. ... Dates of Jewish emancipation. ... “Shoah” redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Combatants Arab nations Israel Arab-Israeli conflict series History of the Arab-Israeli conflict Views of the Arab-Israeli conflict International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict Arab-Israeli conflict facts, figures, and statistics Participants Israeli-Palestinian conflict · Israel-Lebanon conflict · Arab League · Soviet Union / Russia · Israel, Palestine and the... Kingdom of Israel: Early ancient historical Israel — land in pink is the approximate area under direct central royal administration during the United Monarchy. ... Baal teshuva movement (return [to Judaism] movement) refers to a worldwide phenomenon among the Jewish people. ...

Persecution · Antisemitism
History of antisemitism
New antisemitism This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Gay bashing Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial... This does not cite its references or sources. ... New antisemitism is the concept of a new 21st-century form of antisemitism emanating simultaneously from the left, the far right, and radical Islam, and tending to manifest itself as opposition to Zionism and the State of Israel. ...

Political movements · Zionism
Labor Zionism · Revisionist Zionism
Religious Zionism · General Zionism
The Bund · World Agudath Israel
Jewish feminism · Israeli politics Jewish political movements refer to the organized efforts of Jews to build their own political parties or otherwise represent their interest in politics outside of the Jewish community. ... This article is about Zionism as a movement, not the History of Israel. ... Labor Zionism (or Socialist Zionism, Labour Zionism) is the traditional left wing of the Zionist ideology and was historically oriented towards the Jewish workers movement. ... Palestine (comprising todays Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza strip) and Transjordan (todays Kingdom of Jordan) were all part of the British Mandate of Palestine. ... Religious Zionism, or the Religious Zionist Movement, a branch of which is also called Mizrachi, is an ideology that claims to combine Zionism and Judaism, to base Zionism on the principles of Jewish religion and heritage. ... General Zionists were centrists within the Zionist movement. ... A Bundist demonstration, 1917 The General Jewish Labour Union of Lithuania, Poland and Russia, in Yiddish the Algemeyner Yidisher Arbeter Bund in Lite, Poyln un Rusland (אַלגמײַנער ײדישער אַרבײטערסבונד אין ליטאַ, פוילין און רוסלאַנד), generally called The Bund (בונד) or the Jewish Labor Bund, was a Jewish political party operating in several European countries between the 1890s and the... World Agudath Israel (The World Israeli Union) was established in the early twentieth century as the political arm of Ashkenazi Torah Judaism. ... Jewish feminism is a movement that seeks to improve the religious, legal, and social status of women within Judaism and to open up new opportunities for religious experience and leadership for Jewish women. ... Politics of Israel takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Israel is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. ...

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Jewish ethics stands at the intersection of Judaism and the Western philosophical tradition of ethics. Like other types of religious ethics, the diverse literature of Jewish ethics primarily aims to answer a broad range of moral questions and, hence, may be classified as a normative ethics. For two millennia, Jewish thought has also grappled with the dynamic interplay between law and ethics. The rich tradition of rabbinic religious law (known as halakhah) addresses numerous problems often associated with ethics, including its semi-permeable relation with duties that are usually not punished under law. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ... Ethics is a branch of philosophy dealing with right and wrong in human behavior. ... Legal positivism is a school of thought in jurisprudence and the philosophy of law. ... A Rabbi (Classical Hebrew רִבִּי ribbī; modern Ashkenazi and Israeli רַבִּי rabbī) is a religious Jewish scholar who is an expert in Jewish law. ... In the religious sense, law can be thought of as the ordering principle of reality; knowledge as revealed by God defining and governing all human affairs. ... Halakha (הלכה in Hebrew or Halakhah, Halacha, Halachah) is the collective corpus of Jewish law, custom and tradition regulating all aspects of behavior. ...


Jewish ethics may be said to originate with the Hebrew Bible, its broad legal injunctions, wisdom narratives and prophetic teachings. Most subsequent Jewish ethical claims may be traced back to the texts, themes and teachings of the written Torah. For the musical collective, see Tanakh (band). ...


In early rabbinic Judaism, the oral Torah both interprets the Hebrew Bible and delves afresh into many other ethical topics. The best known rabbinic text associated with ethics is the non-legal Mishnah tractate of Avot (“forefathers”), popularly translated as “Ethics of the Fathers”. Similar ethical teachings are interspersed throughout the more legally-oriented portions of the Mishnah, Talmud and other rabbinic literature. Generally, ethics is a key aspect of non-legal rabbinic literature, known as aggadah. This early Rabbinic ethics shows signs of cross-fertilization and polemical exchange with both the Greek (Western philosophical) ethical tradition and early [[Christian An oral law is a code of conduct in use in a given culture, religion or other regroupement, by which a body of rules of human behaviour is transmitted by oral tradition and effectively respected, or the single rule that is orally transmitted. ... For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ... The Mishnah (Hebrew משנה, repetition) is a major source of rabbinic Judaisms religious texts. ... The lost key [The story from Middle East] One night a neighbor strolling by Nasrudins house found him outside under th street lamp brushing through the dust. ... Avot can refer to: Pirkei Avoth. ... The Mishnah (Hebrew משנה, repetition) is a major source of rabbinic Judaisms religious texts. ... The Talmud (Hebrew: תַּלְמוּד) is a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs and history. ... Aggadah (Aramaic אגדה: tales, lore; pl. ...


In the medieval period, direct Jewish responses to Greek ethics may be seen in major rabbinic writings. Notably, Maimonides offers a Jewish interpretation of Aristotle (e.g., Nicomachean Ethics), who enters into Jewish discourse through Islamic writings. Maimonides, in turn, influences Thomas Aquinas, a dominant figure in Catholic ethics and the natural law tradition of moral theology. The relevance of natural law to medieval Jewish philosophy is a matter of dispute among scholars. Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135 or 1138–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain, Morocco and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Nicomachean Ethics Nicomachean Ethics (sometimes spelled Nichomachean), or Ta Ethika, is a work by Aristotle on virtue and moral character which plays a prominent role in defining Aristotelian ethics. ... Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P.(also Thomas of Aquin, or Aquino; c. ... Natural law or the law of nature (Latin: lex naturalis) is an ethical theory that posits the existence of a law whose content is set by nature and that therefore has validity everywhere. ... Jewish philosophy refers to the conjunction between serious study of philosophy and Jewish theology. ...


Medieval and early modern rabbis also created a pietistic tradition of Jewish ethics (see references, below). This ethical tradition was given expression through the mussar literature. The Hebrew term mussar, while literally derived from a word meaning "tradition," is usually translated as ethics or morals.


In the modern period, Jewish ethics sprouted many offshoots, partly due to developments in modern ethics and partly due to the formation of Jewish denominations. Trends in modern Jewish normative ethics include: Several groups, sometimes called denominations, branches, or movements, have developed among Jews of the modern era, especially Ashkenazi Jews living in anglophone countries. ...

  • The pietistic mussar tradition was revived by the Jewish ethics education movement that developed in the 19th century Orthodox Jewish European (Ashkenazi) community. There is a separate article on the Mussar Movement.
  • Modern Jewish philosophers have pursued a range of ethical approaches, with varying degrees of reliance upon traditional Jewish sources. Notably, Hermann Cohen authored Religion of Reason in the tradition of Kantian ethics. Martin Buber wrote on various ethical and social topics, including the dialogical ethics of his I and Thou. Hans Jonas, a student of Martin Heidegger, draws upon phenomenology in his writings on bioethics, technology and responsibility. Emmanuel Levinas sought to distinguish his philosophical and Jewish writings; nevertheless, some scholars are constructing Jewish ethics around his innovative and deeply-Jewish approach. Inspired by both Maimonides and the success of Catholic social ethics, David Novak has promoted a natural law approach to Jewish social ethics. While Jewish feminists are not prominent in ethics per se, the principles of feminist ethics arguably play a pivotal role in the ebb and flow of Jewish denominational politics and identity-formation.
  • In the liberal tradition, the 19th Century Reform movement promoted the idea of Judaism as “ethical monotheism”. The liberal movements (especially Reform and Reconstructionist) have fostered novel approaches to Jewish ethics. (For example, Eugene Borowitz).
  • In 20th Century, Orthodox and Conservative Judaism, Jewish writers typically tackle contemporary ethical, social and political issues by interpreting rabbinic law (Halakha) in responsa (formal opinions). The Reform movement also employs a rabbinic law approach in its responsa. The dominant topic for such applied ethics has been medical ethics and bioethics (see references, below). (See also Jewish business ethics.)

In terms of descriptive ethics, the study of Jewish moral practices and theory is situated more in the disciplines of history and the social sciences than in ethics proper, with some exceptions (e.g., Newman 1998). Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim (אַשְׁכֲּנָזִי אַשְׁכֲּנָזִים Standard Hebrew, Aškanazi,Aškanazim, Tiberian Hebrew, ʾAškănāzî, ʾAškănāzîm, pronounced sing. ... Mussar movement refers to an Jewish ethics educational and cultural movement (a Jewish Moralist Movement) that developed in 19th century Orthodox Eastern Europe, particularly among the Lithuanian Jews. ... Hermann Cohen by Karl Doerbecker Hermann Cohen (4 July 1842 - 4 April 1918) was a German-Jewish philosopher, one of the founders of the Marburg School of Neo-Kantianism, and he is often held to be probably the most important Jewish philosopher of the nineteenth century (Jewish Virtual Library). ... Kantianism is the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher born in Königsberg, Germany (now Kaliningrad, Russia). ... Martin Buber (8 February 1878 – 13 June 1965) was an Austrian-Israeli-Jewish philosopher, translator, and educator, whose work centered on theistic ideals of religious consciousness, interpersonal relations, and community. ... German-born philosopher Hans Jonas (May 10, 1903 - February 5, 1993) studied under Martin Heidegger and Rudolf Bultmann in the 1920s. ... Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976) (pronounced ) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... This article is about the philosophical movement. ... Emmanuel Levinas (January 12, 1906 - December 25, 1995) was a Jewish philosopher originally from Kaunas in Lithuania, who moved to France where he wrote most of his works in French. ... David Novak is a scholar of Jewish philosophy, law (Halakha) and ethics. ... Natural law or the law of nature (Latin: lex naturalis) is an ethical theory that posits the existence of a law whose content is set by nature and that therefore has validity everywhere. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Reconstructionist Judaism is a modern American-based Jewish movement, based on the ideas of the late Mordecai Kaplan, that views Judaism as a progressively evolving civilization. ... Separate articles treat Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Orthodox Judaism. ... This article is about Conservative (Masorti) Judaism in the United States. ... Halakha (Hebrew: הלכה; also transliterated as Halakhah, Halacha, Halakhot and Halachah with pronunciation emphasis on the third syllable, kha), is the collective corpus of Jewish religious law, including biblical law (the 613 mitzvot) and later talmudic and rabbinic law as well as customs and traditions. ... Note: This is based on an entry from the 1906 public domain Jewish Encyclopedia The responsa literature, known in Hebrew as Sheelot U-teshuvot (questions and answers), is the body of written decisions and rulings given by rabbis to questions addressed to them. ... Note: This is based on an entry from the 1906 public domain Jewish Encyclopedia The responsa literature, known in Hebrew as Sheelot U-teshuvot (questions and answers), is the body of written decisions and rulings given by rabbis to questions addressed to them. ... Applied ethics takes a theory of ethics, such as utilitarianism, social contract theory, or deontology, and applies its major principles to a particular set of circumstances and practices. ... Business ethics is a form of the art of applied ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that can arise in a business environment. ...


Medieval and early modern ethical literature

Rabbinic Jewish works of ethics and moral instruction include:

  • Chovot ha-Levavot ('Duties of the Heart'), by Bahya ibn Paquda (11th century). This work discusses ten moral virtues, each the subject of its own chapter.
  • Ma'alot ha-Middot, Yehiel ben Yekutiel Anav of Rome. This work discusses 24 moral virtues,
  • Orhot Zaddikim (The Ways of the Righteous) by an anonymous author. The book was probably written in the late 14th century. Original Title: Sefer ha-Middot (The Book of Character Traits).
  • Kad ha-Kemah, Bahya ben Asher, a Spanish kabbalist.
  • Mesillat Yesharim, Moshe Chaim Luzzatto

Feldheims english translation of Chovos Halevavos Chovot ha-Levavot or Chovos ha-Levavos, (Hebrew: חובות הלבבות, English: Duties of the Heart), is the primary work of the Jewish philosopher Bahya ibn Paquda, full name Bahya ben Joseph ibn Pakuda. ... Bahya ibn Paquda (also: Pakuda) Full name: Bahya ben Joseph ibn Pakuda, known to Talmud scholars (in Hebrew) as the Rabbeinu Bechaya (Our Rabbi Behaya), was a Jewish philosopher and rabbi who lived at Saragossa, Spain, in the first half of the eleventh century. ... The work Mesillat Yesharim was composed by the influential Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato (1707-1746) in 1740 when living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and published in the same city. ... Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (also Moses Chaim, Moses Hayyim, also Luzzato) (1707-1746), also known by the Hebrew acronym as the RAMCHAL (also RAMHAL), was a prominent Italian Jewish rabbi, mystic, and philosopher best remembered today for his ethical treatise Mesillat Yesharim (Path of the Just). ...

Jewish family ethics

Great stress is laid on reverence for parents. Central to society is the nuclear family. In traditional Judaism, the Jewish family's head is the father; yet the mother, who is an integral part of the family unit, is also entitled to honor and respect at the hands of sons and daughters. In more modern forms and movements within Judaism, the mother and father are considered equal in all things. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Monogamy is the ideal (Gen. ii. 24). Marriage within certain degrees of consanguinity or in relations arising from previous conjugal unions is forbidden; chastity is regarded as of highest moment (Ex. xx. 14; Lev. xviii. 18-20); and abominations to which the Canaanites were addicted are especially loathed.


Virtue is believed to flow from the recognition of God, therefore idolatry is the progenitor of vice and oppression.


The non-Israelite is within the covenant of ethical considerations (Ex. xxii. 20; Lev. xix. 33). "You shall love him as yourself," a law the phraseology of which proves that in the preceding "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Lev. xix. 18) "neighbor" does not connote an Israelite exclusively. There was to be one law for the native and the stranger (Lev. xix. 34; comp. Ex. xii. 49). Non-Israelites were not forced to follow the Israelite faith. “The Twelve Tribes” redirects here. ...


The family plays a central role in Judaism, both socially and in transmitting the traditions of the religion. To honour one's father and mother is one of the Ten Commandments. Jewish families try to have close, respectful family relationships, with care for both the elderly and young. Religious observance is an integral part of home life, including the weekly Sabbath and keeping kosher dietary laws. The Talmud tells parents to teach their children a trade and survival skills, and children are asked to look after their parents. a family of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in 1997 Family is a Western term used to denote a domestic group of people, or a number of domestic groups linked through descent (demonstrated or stipulated) from a common ancestor, marriage or adoption. ... This article is about a list of ten religious commandments. ... For other uses, see Sabbath. ... The Talmud (Hebrew: תַּלְמוּד) is a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs and history. ...


Marriage and sexual relations

Marriage is called kidushin, or 'making holy'. To set up a family home is to take part in an institution imbued with holiness. Celibacy is regarded as wrong because in the Torah (Genesis 2:18 and Isaiah 45:18), God told Jews to multiply. Sex is not considered acceptable outside marriage, but it is an important part of the love and care shown between partners. Sexual relations are forbidden during the time of the woman's period. A week after her period has ended, she will go to the mikveh (the ritual immersion pool) where she will fully immerse herself and become ritually clean again. Sexual relations may then resume. Married couples need to find other ways of expressing their love for each other during these times, and many say that the time of abstention enhances the relationship. Judaism considers marriage to be the ideal state of existence; a man without a wife, or a woman without a husband, are considered incomplete. ...


Adultery, incest, and by some interpretations homosexuality are prohibited in the Torah (Leviticus 18:6–23). However, Reform and Liberal Jews accept homosexuality, and homosexuals are not persecuted by Orthodox Jews. Prostitution is forbidden.


Altruistic virtues

Honesty and haq are absolutely prerequisite. Stealing, flattery, falsehood, perjury and false swearing, oppression, even if only in holding back overnight the hired man's earnings, are forbidden. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ...


The reputation of a fellow man is sacred (Ex. 21:1). Tale-bearing and unkind insinuations are proscribed, as is hatred of one's brother in one's heart (Lev. 19:17). A revengeful, relentless disposition is unethical; reverence for old age is inculcated; justice shall be done; right weight and just measure are demanded; poverty and riches shall not be regarded by the judge (Lev. 19:15, 18, 32, 36; Ex. 23:3).


Even animals have a right to be treated well (Ex. 23:4), even ones that might belong to one's enemy.


Prophetic ethics

The Biblical prophets exhort all people to lead a righteous life. The ritual elements and sacerdotal institutions incidental to Israel's appointment are regarded as secondary by the preexilic prophets, while the intensely human side is emphasized (Isa. 1:11). For other senses of this word, see Prophet (disambiguation). ...


The prophets preached that the people of Israel were chosen by God because of the virtues of the Patriarchs, having been "alone singled out" by God; in this view, choseness means that the Jewish nation's conduct is under more rigid scrutiny (Amos 3:1-2) than other nations. Israel is seen as the "wife" (Hosea), or the "bride" (Jer. 2:2-3) of God; in this view, the laws of Judaism are a covenant of love (Hosea 6:7). This leads to the corollary that idolatry is an adulterous abandoning of God. From this infidelity proceeds all manner of vice, oppression, untruthfulness. Fidelity, on the other hand, leads to "doing justly and loving mercy" (Micah 6:8). Various groups have considered themselves chosen by God for some purpose such as to act as Gods agent on earth. ... The Patriarchs, known as the Avot in Hebrew, are Abraham, his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. ...


Kindness to the needy, benevolence, faith, pity to the suffering, a peace-loving disposition, and a truly humble and contrite spirit, are the virtues which the Prophets hold up for emulation. Civic loyalty, even to a foreign ruler, is urged as a duty (Jer. 29:7). "Learn to do good" is the key-note of the prophetic appeal (Isa. 1:17); thus the end-time will be one of peace and righteousness; war will be no more (Isa. 2:2 et seq.)


Ethics in rabbinic literature

Hillel the elder formulated the Golden rule of Jewish ethics "What is painful to you, do not do unto others". (Talmud, tracate Shabbat 31a; Midrash Avot de Rabbi Natan.) His contemporary, Akiva states "Whatever you hate to have done unto you, do not do to your neighbor; wherefore do not hurt him; do not speak ill of him; do not reveal his secrets to others; let his honor and his property be as dear to thee as thine own" (Midrash Avot deRabbi Natan.) Hillel is a Hebrew name that has been held by many famous Jewish rabbis and thinkers. ... The ethic of reciprocity or The Golden Rule is a fundamental moral principle which simply means It is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights. ... Rabbi Akiva (or Rebbi Akiva) is one of the most central and essential contributors to the early Oral Torah, mainly the Mishnah and the Midrash Halakha. ...


Ben Azzai says: "The Torah, by beginning with the book of the generations of man, laid down the great rule for the application of the Law: Love thy neighbor as thyself" (Lev. 19:18; Midrash Genesis Rabbah 24)


Rabbi Simlai taught "Six hundred and thirteen commandments were given to Moses; then David came and reduced them to eleven in Psalm 15.; Isaiah (33:15), to six; Micah (6:8), to three; Isaiah again (56:1), to two; and Habakkuk (2:4), to one: 'The just lives by his faithfulness'."


Jewish ethics denies self-abasement. "He who subjects himself to needless self-castigations and fasting, or even denies himself the enjoyment of wine, is a sinner" (Taanit 11a, 22b). A person has to give account for every lawful enjoyment he refuses (Talmud Yer. Ḳid. iv. 66d).


Man is in duty bound to preserve his life (Berachot 32b) and his health. Foods dangerous to health are more to be guarded against than those ritually forbidden.


A person should show self-respect in regard to both his body, "honoring it as the image of God" (Hillel: Midrash Leviticus Rabbah 34), and his garments (Talmud Shabbat 113b; Ned. 81a).


One must remove every cause for suspicion in order to appear blameless before men as well as before God (Yoma 38a).


Man is enjoined to take a wife and obtain posterity (Yeb. 63b; Mek., Yitro, 8). "He who lives without a wife lives without joy and blessing, without protection and peace"; he is "not a complete man" (Yeb. 62a, 63a), and for it he has to give reckoning at the great Judgment Day (Shab. 31a).


Justice

Social ethics is defined by Rabbi Simeon ben Gamaliel's words: "The world rests on three things: justice, truth, and peace" (Avot 1:18). Justice ("din," corresponding to the Biblical "mishpat") being God's must be vindicated, whether the object be of great or small value (Sanh. 8a). "Let justice pierce the mountain" is the characteristic maxim attributed to Moses (Sanh. 6b). They that ridicule Talmudic Judaism for its hair-splitting minutiae overlook the important ethical principles underlying its judicial code. Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt This article is about the Biblical figure. ...


The Talmud denounces as fraud every mode of taking advantage of a man's ignorance, whether he be Jew or Gentile; every fraudulent dealing, every gain obtained by betting or gambling or by raising the price of breadstuffs through speculation, is theft (B. B. 90b; Sanh. 25b). The Talmud denounces advantages derived from loans of money or of victuals as usury; every breach of promise in commerce is a sin provoking God's punishment; every act of carelessness which exposes men or things to danger and damage is a culpable transgression.


The Talmud extends far beyond Biblical statutes responsibility for every object given into custody of a person or found by him. A rabbi in the Talmud opines that putting one's fellow man to shame, in the same category as murder (B. M. 58b), and brands as calumny the spreading of evil reports, even when true. Also forbidden is listening to slanderous gossip, or the causing of suspicion, or the provoking of unfavorable remarks about a neighbor.


Truth, peace and hatred

"The first question asked at the Last Judgment is whether one has dealt justly with his neighbor" (Talmud, tractate Shabbat 31a).


"A good deed brought about by an evil deed is an evil deed" (Suk. 30a).


The Jewish concept of peace, or shalom, is not a passive ideal, but can only be achieved through truth, justice, and mercy. Aaron, the elder brother of Moses, is regarded as a role model for maintaining peace between individuals. He would go separately to two quarrelling individuals and tell them how much the other wanted to make peace between them. Jews believe that they should always work for reconciliation, and that the same ethics apply between nations. They believe that war is avoidable if justice prevails, and should be avoided if at all possible. However, defence, particularly of life, home, or belief, is permissible if other attempts at resolution have failed. War fought to build an empire or take revenge on others is strictly forbidden. Jews are expected to treat their enemies with care and thought (Proverbs 25:21, Kings 2 6:21–23). Look up Shalom in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Peace is everywhere recommended, and urged as the highest boon of man (Midrash Numbers Rabbah xi.; Talmud Pesachim i. 1.) Hatred, quarreling and anger are condemned as unethical, and potentially leading to murder.


From the thought of a holy God emanated four virtues: (a) Chastity ("tzeniut" = "modesty"), which shuts the eye against unseemly sights and the heart against impure thoughts. Hence R. Meïr's maxim (Ber. 17a): "Keep your mouth from sin, your body from wrong, and I {God} will be with thee." (b) Humility. The presence of God rests only upon the humble (Mek., Yitro, 9; Ned. 38), whereas the proud is like one who worships another god and drives God away (Soṭah 4b). (c) Truthfulness. "Liars, mockers, hypocrites, and slanderers can not appear before God's face" (Sotah 42a). (d) Reverence for God. "Fear of God leads to fear of sin" (Ber. 28b), and includes reverence for parents and teachers. Fear of God, often abbreviated to F.O.G., is a Swiss grindcore band who were active in the mid-80s. ... For other uses, see Sin (disambiguation). ...


Charity

The Jewish idea of righteousness ("tzedakah") includes benevolence and charity. The owner of property has no right to withhold from the poor their share. Tzedakah (צדקה) in Judaism, is the Hebrew term most commonly translated as charity, though it is based on a root meaning justice (צדק). According to Maimonides, there are eight levels of tzedakah in Jewish tradition, ranging from publicly giving funds, so that the donor and...


The Rabbis decreed against Essene practice, and against advice given in the New Testament, that one give away much, most or all of their possessions. Since they did not expect a supernatural savior to come and take care of the poor, they held that one must not make themselves poor. Given that nearly all Jews of their day were poor or middle-class (even the rich of that time were only rich relative to the poor), they ruled that one should not give away more than a fifth of his income to charity, while yet being obligated to give away no less than 10% of his income to charity (Ket. 50a; 'Ar. 28a). Many folios of the Talmud are devoted to encouragement in giving charity (see, for example, B.B. 9b-11a; A.Z. 17b; Pes. 8a; Rosh. 4a), and this topic is the focus of many religious books and rabbinic responsa.


Relationship to non-Jews (gentiles)

Jews are strongly influenced by the exhortation, 'Remember the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt' (Deuteronomy 10:9), especially as this refers to the Exodus celebrated at Passover. Jews are expected to show hospitality to all, and to consider the needs and feelings of anyone who may be marginalized, for whatever reason. In biblical times, the slaves of Jewish people had special rights that preserved their dignity as equal human beings, allowed them freedoms, and forbade mistreatment.


Jews do not actively convert others to Judaism; in fact conversion to Judaism is a lengthy and difficult process. They are respectful of other religions, but cannot actively approve of religions that appear to worship iconic figures, for example, Hinduism.


Jews believe that Gentiles who follow the Noachide code, the minimum ethical and religious requirements for all non-Jews, will be equally recognized by God. The laws of the Noachide code are: worship only one God; do not insult God with blasphemy; do not murder; do not steal; do not commit adultery; do not mistreat animals or cause them pain; live in harmony through just laws.


Sanctification of God's name

The idea of God's holiness became in rabbinical ethics one of the most powerful incentives to pure and noble conduct. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God" (Deut. vi. 5) is explained (Sifre, Deut. 32; Yoma 86a) to mean "Act in such a manner that God will be beloved by all His creatures." Consequently a Jew is not only obliged to give his life as witness or martyr for the maintenance of the true faith, but so to conduct himself in every way as to prevent the name of God from being dishonored by non-Israelites.


The greatest sin of fraud, therefore, is that committed against a non-Israelite, because it leads to the reviling of God's name. The desire to sanctify the name of God leads one to treat adherents of other creeds with the utmost fairness and equity.


Respect for one's fellow creatures is of such importance that Biblical prohibitions may be transgressed on its account (Ber. 19b). Especially do unclaimed dead require respectful burial (see Burial in Jew. Encyc. iii. 432b: "met miẓwah"). Gentiles are to have a share in all the benevolent work of a township which appeals to human sympathy and on which the maintenance of peace among men depends, such as supporting the poor, burying the dead, comforting the mourners, and even visiting the sick (Tosef., Giṭ. v. 4-5; Giṭ. 64a).


Friendship is highly prized in the Talmud; the very word for "associate" is "friend" ("chaver"). "Get thyself a companion" (Abot i. 6). "Companionship or death" (Ta'an. 23a).


Animals and the environment

The Biblical commands regarding the treatment of the brute (Ex. xx. 10; Lev. xxii. 28; Deut. xxv. 4; Prov. xii. 10) are amplified in rabbinical ethics, and a special term is coined for Cruelty to Animals ("tza'ar ba'ale hayyim"). Not to sit down to the table before the domestic animals have been fed is a lesson derived from Deut. xi. 15. Compassion for the brute is declared to have been the merit of Moses which made him the shepherd of his people (Ex. R. ii.), while Judah ha-Nasi saw in his own ailment the punishment for having once failed to show compassion for a frightened calf.


Trees and other things of value also come within the scope of rabbinical ethics, as their destruction is prohibited, according to Deut. xx. 19 (Talmud, tracate Shabbat 105b, 129a, 140b, et al.)


Consideration for animals is an important part of Judaism. It is part of the Noachide code. Resting on the Sabbath also meant providing rest for the working animals, and people are instructed to feed their animals before they sit down to eat. At harvest time, the working animals must not be muzzled, so that they can eat of the harvest as they work. All animals must be kept in adequate conditions. Sports like bullfighting are forbidden. Animals may be eaten as long as they are killed as painlessly and humanely as possible using the method known as shechitah, where the animal is killed by having its throat cut swiftly using a specially sharpened knife. Jewish butchers have a special training in this which must meet the requirements of kashrut. Animals may also be used in medical research if it will help people in need, and if the animals do not undergo any unnecessary suffering.


Bioethics

Bioethics is a field of study which concerns the relationship between biology, science, medicine and ethics, philosophy and theology. Jewish bioethicists are usually rabbis who have been trained in medical science and philosophy, but may also be Jewish laypeople experts in medicine and ethics who have received training in Jewish texts. The goal of Jewish bioethics is to use Jewish law and tradition and Jewish ethical literature to determine which medical treatments or technological innovations are moral, when treatments may or may not be used, etc. Bioethics is the ethics of biological science and medicine. ... Biology studies the variety of life (clockwise from top-left) E. coli, tree fern, gazelle, Goliath beetle Biology (from Greek: βίος, bio, life; and λόγος, logos, knowledge), also referred to as the biological sciences, is the study of living organisms utilizing the scientific method. ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... For the chemical substances known as medicines, see medication. ... For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... Halakha (Hebrew: הלכה; also transliterated as Halakhah, Halacha, Halakhot and Halachah with pronunciation emphasis on the third syllable, kha), is the collective corpus of Jewish religious law, including biblical law (the 613 mitzvot) and later talmudic and rabbinic law as well as customs and traditions. ...


Environmental issues

Jews believe that God gave people control over the fish, birds, animals, and earth (Genesis 1:26). Genesis 2:15 emphasizes that people were put in the world to maintain it and care for it. The Talmud teaches that wasting or destroying anything on earth is wrong. Pollution is an insult to the created world, and it is considered immoral to put commercial concerns before care for God's creation. However, humans are regarded as having a special place in the created order, and their well-being is paramount. Humans are not seen as just another part of the ecosystem, so moral decisions about environmental issues have to take account of the well-being of humans.


References

  • Abrahams, Israel, ed. 2006. Hebrew Ethical Wills. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society. ISBN 0827608276.
  • Bleich, J. D. 1977. Contemporary Halakhic Problems. 4 vols. New York: Ktav Publishing House Inc. Yeshiva University Press.
  • Breslauer, S. Daniel, comp. 1985. Contemporary Jewish Ethics: A Bibliographical Survey. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
  • Breslauer, S. Daniel, comp. 1986. Modern Jewish Morality: A Bibliographical Survey. New York: Greenwood Press.
  • Dorff, Elliot N., and Louis E. Newman, eds. 1995. Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality: A Reader. Oxford University Press.
  • Dosick, Wayne. The Business Bible: 10 New Commandments for Bringing Spirituality & ethical values into the workplace. Jewish Lights Publishing.
  • Newman, Louis E. 1998. Past Imperatives: Studies in the History and Theory of Jewish Ethics. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  • Tamari, Meir. 1995. The Challenge of Wealth: A Jewish Perspective on Earning and Spending Money. Jason Aronson.
  • Telushkin, Joseph. 2000. The Book of Jewish Values. Bell Tower.
  • Werblowsky. 1964. In Annual of Jewish Studies 1: 95-139.

Elliot N. Dorff (born 24 June 1943) is a Conservative rabbi, a professor of Jewish theology at the University of Judaism in California (where he is also Rector), author, and a bio-ethicist. ...

Bioethics

  • Bleich, J. David. 1981. Judaism and Healing'. New York: Ktav.
  • Conservative Judaism. 2002. Vol. 54(3). Contains a set of six articles on bioethics.
  • Elliot Dorff. 1998. Matters of Life and Death: A Jewish Approach to Modern Medical Ethics. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.
  • David Feldman. 1974. Marital Relations, Birth Control, and Abortion in Jewish Law. New York: Schocken Books.
  • Freedman, B. 1999. Duty and Healing: Foundations of a Jewish Bioethic. New York: Routledge.
  • Jakobovits, Immanuel. 1959. Jewish Medical Ethics. New York: Bloch Publishing.
  • Mackler, Aaron L., ed. 2000. Life & Death Responsibilities in Jewish Biomedical Ethics. JTS.
  • Maibaum, M. 1986. "A 'progressive' Jewish medical ethics: notes for an agenda." Journal of Reform Judaism 33(3): 27-33.
  • Rosner, Fred. 1986. Modern Medicine and Jewish Ethics. New York: Yeshiva University Press.
  • Byron Sherwin. 2004. Golems among us: How a Jewish legend can help us navigate the biotech century
  • Sinclair, Daniel. 1989. Tradition and the biological revolution: The application of Jewish law to the treatment of the critically ill
  • _________. Jewish biomedical law. Oxford
  • Zohar, Noam J. 1997. Alternatives in Jewish Bioethics. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  • Zoloth Laurie. 1999. Health care and the ethics of encounter: A Jewish discussion of social justice. Univ. of North Carolina Press.

Rabbi Dr. J. (Judah) David Bleich (pronounced Blikhe) is an authority on Jewish law and ethics and bioethics. ... Elliot N. Dorff (born 24 June 1943) is a Conservative rabbi, a professor of Jewish theology at the University of Judaism in California (where he is also Rector), author, and a bio-ethicist. ... David Feldman is the name of two American writers: David Feldman, the comedy writer David Feldman, the author of the Imponderables series This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... Immanuel Jakobovits, Baron Jakobovits, KBE (8 February 1921–31 October 1999) was the Orthodox Judaism Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth from 1967 to 1991. ... Byron Sherwin is a Jewish scholar and author with expertise in theology, inter-religious dialogue, mysticism and Jewish ethics. ... Daniel Sinclair is a scholar of Jewish law (Halakhah) who specializes in contemporary Jewish medical ethics. ...

See also

Mussar movement refers to an Jewish ethics educational and cultural movement (a Jewish Moralist Movement) that developed in 19th century Orthodox Eastern Europe, particularly among the Lithuanian Jews. ... Personification of virtue (Greek ἀρετή) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey Virtue (Latin virtus; Greek ) is moral excellence of a person. ... For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ...

External links

  • Jewish bioethics on the web
  • Bioethics program at the University of Judaism, Los Angeles, California
  • Jewish Bioethics, from Jerusalem's Darche Noam Educational Institute
  • Bioethics for clinicians: Jewish bioethics - Canadian Medical Association Journal article
  • Jewish Encyclopedia entry on ethics

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