In recent years, more and more religious communities have been refusing to vaccinate their children, and in so doing are allowing diseases to spread. These communities justify resistance to vaccination on various religious grounds and make common cause with nonreligious communities who oppose vaccination for their own reasons. Today this situation is reflected primarily in the spread of measles, and vaccine hesitancy was identified by the World Health Organization as 1 of the top 10 global health threats of 2019. The (...) present article presents the religious and ethical arguments for the obligation within Jewish tradition to vaccinate all children. Apart from the obligation on parents to vaccinate their own children, it includes the ethical arguments based on Judaism that call for parents to become organized and force schools to refuse to accept children who have not been vaccinated and demand vaccination of those who have not been inoculated. (shrink)
Over the past decade much significant new work has appeared in the field of Jewishethics. While much of this work has been devoted to issues in applied ethics, a number of important essays have explored central themes within the tradition and clarified the theoretical foundations of Jewishethics. This important text grew out of the need for a single work which accurately and conveniently reflects these developments within the field. The first text of its (...) kind in almost two decades, Contemporary JewishEthics and Morality presents wide-ranging and carefully organized recent essays on Jewish ethical theory and practice. Serving as an introduction to Jewishethics, it acquaints the student with the distinctive methodological issues involved and offers a sampling of Jewish positions on contemporary moral problems. The book features work from both traditionalist and liberal contributors, making this the only volume which encompasses the full range of contemporary Jewish ethical perspectives. Writers such as Harold Schulweis, Judith Plaskow, David Novak, David Hartman, and Blu Greenberg discuss law and ethics, natural law, humility, justice, sex and the family, euthanasia, and other vital issues relating to modern Judaism. Many of the readings appear here for the first time, making this important text the most timely sourcebook in its field. Uniquely qualified to reflect the high level and depth of contemporary work in this area of study, Contemporary JewishEthics and Morality is an essential contribution to any course dealing with Jewishethics. (shrink)
Judism identifies the virtue of humility as constitutive of the moral life and as furnishing its dispositional foundation. The paper traces the central place given humility in Jewish moral teaching and in the Jewish understanding of God. The author asks whether this stress on humility is supported by rational ethical theory. His claim is that an examination of Rawls' contract view suggests this is so by revealing that a sense of humility not only encourages adoption of the moral (...) point of view but guides moral reasoning to sound conclusions. (shrink)
Jewishethics like Judaism itself has often been charged with being "particularistic," and in modernity it has been unfavorably compared with the universality of secular ethics. This charge has become acute philosophically when the comparison is made with the ethics of Kant. However, at this level, much of the ethical rejection of Jewish particularism, especially its being beholden to a God who is above the universe to whom this God prescribes moral norms and judges according (...) to them, is also a rejection of Christian (or any other monotheistic) ethics, no matter how otherwise universal. Yet this essay argues that Jewishethics that prescribes norms for all humans, and that is knowable by all humans, actually constitutes a wider moral universe than does Kantian ethics, because it can include non-rational human objects and even non-human objects altogether. This essay also argues that a totally egalitarian moral universe, encompassing all human relations, becomes an infinite, totalizing universe, which can easily become the ideological justification (ratio essendi) of a totalitarian regime. (shrink)
The Oxford Handbook of JewishEthics and Morality offers a collection of original essays--historical and contemporary, as well as philosophical and practical--by leading scholars from around the world. The first section of the volume describes the history of the Jewish tradition's moral thought, from the Bible to contemporary Jewish approaches. The second part includes chapters on specific fields in ethics, including the ethics of medicine, business, sex, speech, politics, war, and the environment.
This companion to Elliot Dorff's three books on Jewishethics -- Matters of Life and Death , To Do the Right and the Good , and Love Your Neighbor and Yourself -- is designed for group as well as individual study. Through suggested readings from Dorff's books, probing questions, lively discussion topics, and simple writing exercises, readers will be able to analyze and clarify their own positions on a host of controversial issues: sex, surrogate motherhood, adoption, family abuse, (...) responsibilities for charitable giving, the ethics of war, suicide, and euthanasia, and more. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- PART 1: Overview * JewishEthics in a New Key * Temptations of Tradition * Sacred Compromise * Renewing JewishEthics * PART II: On the Ground * Learning to Speak about the Elephant in the Room * The Art of Moral Criticism * Deal Breaker and the Money Laundering Rabbis * Loving the Stranger and the Fall of the Agriprocessors * The Problem with Income and Wealth Inequalities * PART III: (...) Frontiers * "The Exaltation of the Possible" -- Ethics and Play * An Optimistic Case for the Future of JewishEthics In a Post-Madoff World. (shrink)
This essay offers a Jewish approach to ethnography in religious ethics. Following the work of other ethnographers working in religious ethics, I explore how an ethnographic account of reproductive ethics among Haredi Jewish women in Jerusalem enhances and improves Jewish ethical discourse. I argue that ethnography should become an integral part of Jewishethics for three reasons. First, with a contextual approach to guidance and application of law and norms, an ethnographic approach (...) to Jewishethics parallels the way ethical decisions are made on a daily basis in Jewish communities. Second, ethnography bolsters the voices of those involved in ethical discourse. Third, ethnography facilitates the bridge between local ethical questions and global ethical discourse. (shrink)
The case for dialogue -- Increasing moral capital through moral imagination -- The art of ethical dialogue -- Intelligent spirituality in business -- Spirituality in (and out) of the classroom -- Listening to the anxious atheists -- Beyond the flat world metaphor -- Dialogue as a restraint on wealth -- The limits of dialogue.
The concept of Jewishethics is elusive. Law occupies a prominent place in the phenomenology of traditional Judaism. What room is left for ethics? This paper argues that the dichotomy between law and ethics, with regard to Judaism, is misleading. The fixity of these categories presumes too much, both about normativity per se and about Judaism. Rather than naming categories “law” and “ethics” should be seen as contrastive terms that play a role in fundamental arguments (...) about how to characterize Judaism. (shrink)
This essay presents and analyzes the recent work of four prominent contemporary Jewish ethicists: Eugene Borowitz, David Novak, Byron Sherwin, and Walter Wurzburger. These authors are united in their affirmation of covenant as the central category of Jewish moral obligation and their concern to construct a Jewish ethic out of the classical sources of Judaism. Yet, as an individual analysis of their books will show, they adopt markedly different views of the authority of traditional Jewish law (...) , the respective roles of individual and community in moral deliberation, and the degree to which changing historical circumstances alter moral truths. (shrink)
This paper attempts to develop the foundations of a contemporary Jewish moral theory. It treats the Jewish legal and moral tradition as the object of an act of interpretive recovery that is carried out by contemporary Jews who are sensitive to the demands of their historical situation, a situation defined by the Nazi destruction of European Jewry and by the reestablishment of the Jewish state. In the course of the paper I develop an approach to post-Holocaust (...) class='Hi'>Jewish experience that derives from the work of Emil Fackenheim and try to show how Jewish moral imperatives arise within Fackenheim's account of the Jewish situation. The Jew's understanding of the role of God in moral obligation, his appreciation of the demands of the historical moment, and his interpretive recovery of the Jewish moral tradition-all are shown to depend upon and emerge from a reflective examination of Jewish moral and legal resistance during the Holocaust. (shrink)
Leading contemporary Jewish thinker David Novak has here compiled ten of his essays on a variety of issues in Jewishethics. Drawing constantly on classical Jewish tradition, Novak also looks at a wide range of modern critical scholarship on the ancient sources. He aims to point out certain common features of Jewish and Christian ethics and the normative implications of this overlapping of traditions; he assumes the reality of a "Judeo-Christian ethic," while refusing to (...) minimize the doctrinal differences between the two traditions. The essays address such major normative issues in social justice as ecology, war and peace, the treatment of minorities, and the approach to AIDS patients. This combination of theoretical reflection and practical application, along with careful and detailed analysis of classical Jewish texts, makes the book a welcome contribution to contemporary ethical theory and normative ethics as well as a work of original Jewish theology. (shrink)
This discussion develops six of the most important guiding principles of classical Jewish business ethics and illustrates their application to a complex recent case of product liability. These principles are: (1) the legitimacy of business activity and profit; (2) the divine origin and ordination of wealth (and hence the limits and obligations of human ownership); (3) the preeminent position in decision making given to the protection and preservation (sanctity) of human life; (4) the protection of consumers from commercial (...) harm; (5) the avoidance of fraud and misrepresentation in sales transactions; and (6)the moral requirement to go beyond the letter of the law. Although these Talmudic principles are clearly obligatory only for "Torah-obedient" Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, many Jews share a sensibility informed by them. Non-Jews, too, may be instructed by Jewish teachings about business ethics. (shrink)
"Written in a racy, persuasive style, the book impresses the reader as a work of significant scholarship...I encourage students of comparative religions- and especially those of Islamic economics- to read it with great care."&$151; Islamic Studies The worlds of economics and theology rarely intersect. The former appears occupied exclusively with the concrete equations of supply and demand, while the latter revolves largely around the less tangible concerns of the soul and spirit. Intended as an interfaith clarification of the relationship between (...) the material and the spiritual worlds, this volume first inspects secular beliefs about the relationship between economics and ethics. Exploring the differences and similarities between the treatment of economic issues in each of the great monotheistic religions, Rodney Wilson reveals how each tradition considers such subjects as individual wealth, lending, economic regulation, usury, insurance capitalism, socialism, and banking. He concludes with an intriguing epilogue on the rapidly expanding field of business ethics. (shrink)