Core Ethical Teachings Of Judaism Paper

546 words - 3 pages

De La Salle AshfieldStudies of Religion 1Task 2 2014Nicholas Kyriakopoulos1) Describe the core ethical teachings of Judaism?The Ten Commandments, also called the Decalogue refers to a list of ethical instructions that was handed to Moses by God on Mount Sinai. It is regarded as the distillation of the 613 mitzvot. The Ten Commandments are a primary part of the Jewish ethical system which can be divided into two groups. These being positive and negative commandments and have specific meanings. The beginning five commandments compromise with the relationship between God and the people of Israel. These commandments are positive, affirmative commandments. The next five commandments are focused with the relationship between individuals and their community. Th ...view middle of the document...

For example to love one's neighbour. These mitzvot represent the foundational tenets of Jewish ethics. The most important source of ethical guidance for Jews is the Torah which encompasses the Written and Oral Torah. The Torah is Judaism's most important text. It is composed of the Five Books of Moses and also contains the 613 commandments mitzvot and the Ten Commandments. The word Torah means to teach. Jewish ethics is derived from the covenantal relationship where they were protected and taught their responsibilities towards God and other people. Ongoing Rabbinic discussion ensures that the core tenets of Jewish ethics can be prudently applied to changing circumstances. The Prophets were individuals who were called by God to proclaim the message that people were straying from the path laid down by the Torah by perpetuating the status quo of society. The Prophets advocated a pro-active stance to reforming social structures by emphasizing the broad themes of justice, equality and peace during a time when these concepts were of secondary importance compared to observance of law and ritual. The Prophets were actively concerned with bettering the plight of the poor, the needy and the oppressed and did so by challenging the authority figures of society.The prophetic vision included the Tikkun Olam. This means repair/transformation of the world. Tikkun olam is the notion that if a person saves another human being it is as if that person had saved the whole world. The overarching principle of tikkun olam in Jewish ethics is intimately connected with the idea of social justice. The implication of this notion is that all individuals have the dual responsibility of rectifying inequalities in society by helping the poor and needy, and acting as a steward by caring for the earth.


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