Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Torah Ethics - a Sample


It's hard to picture any system of ethics which demands more meticulous honesty and integrity than Orthodox Judaism. Even keeping in ones house a false weight to be used as a chamber pot is forbidden.

The Torah teaches "You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in length, in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt." Leviticus 19:35-36

I recently studied a section of the Talmud which discusses the issue of using accurate weights and measures.

Our Rabbis taught: Whence [may it be inferred] that [the measure] must not be levelled where the practice is to heap it up, and [that] it must not be heaped up where the practice is to level it? — For it has been definitely stated, A perfect … measure. And whence [may it be inferred] that we are not to listen to one who Says, 'I will level where the practice is to heap up, and reduce the price' or 'I will heap up where they level, and raise the price'? — For it has been definitely stated, A perfect and just measure thou shalt have.

Our Rabbis taught: Whence [is it to be inferred] that the exact weight must not be given where the practice is to allow overweight, and that overweight must not be allowed where the practice is to give the exact weight? — For it has been definitely stated, A perfect weight. And whence [may it be inferred] that we are not to listen to one who says, 'I will give the exact weight where the practice is to allow overweight, and reduce the price', or 'I will allow overweight where they give the exact weight, and raise the price'? — For it has been definitely stated, A perfect and just weight. Rab Judah of Sura said: Thou shalt not have [anything] in thy house; why? — Because of [thy] diverse measures. Thou shalt not have [anything] in thy bag; why? — Because of [thy] diverse weights. But [if thou keep] a perfect and just weight, thou shalt have [possessions]; [if] a perfect and just measure, thou shalt have [wealth].

Our Rabbis taught: [It is written], You shall do no unrighteousness in judgments in meteyard, in weight. or in measure. In meteyard relates to the measuring of ground; one should not measure out for one person in the hot season and for another in the rainy season. In weight, [means] that one shall not keep his weights in salt. In measure, that one shall not cause [liquids] to froth. And by inference from minor to major, [the following may be deduced]. If the Torah cared [for proper measure in] a mesurah which is one thirty-sixth of a log. how much more [should one be careful to give proper measure in the case] of a hin half a hin, a third of a hin, a quarter of a hin, a log, half a log, a quarter [of a log], a toman, half a toman and an 'ukla!

Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: A person is forbidden to keep in his house a measure [which is either] smaller or larger [than the nominal capacity] even if [it is used as a] urine tub.

54 comments:

Gobbie said...

Are you bragging about 'humanistic' Torah ethics?

duet. 22:23

"If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you."

Verse 28:
If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.

jewish philosopher said...

The first law according to the Talmud applies to people who committed adultery in front of two eye witnesses. In addition to that, the death penalty can not be imposed once the Romans destroyed the Temple. It's almost purely symbolic in other words, intended to demonstrate the severity of adultery.

In the second case, the girl has to consent to marry the rapist.

Gobbie said...

Apropo scriptural ethics, and I know that this is off topic,
but allow me a suggestion: that you redirect your
formidable rhetorical skills and rather
than aiming your guns at atheism or
skepticism, set them on something far more
threatening to humanity and freedom: Islam.

The rapid spread of religious Islam to western
countries threatens to destroy the western
way of life, and Jews along with it.

some countries, such as the US or Canada,
can save themselves if they wake up soon.


For some European countries, such as England
France and Sweden, it is already too late.
In a few short decades, women in these countries
will be forced to wear burkas, and Sharia
will be the law of the land. Soft multiculturalism
has failed to confront the threat, and
nothing short of a Stalin- like purge of Islam
can save these countries.

I think you should get on board for that battle
of ideas.

Alex said...

You mean you have to look in more than one place in the Torah, not to mention the Talmud, to get a better picture of a certain Jewish law? Gee, why didn't I think of that?
-- Gobbie's conscience.

jewish philosopher said...

I do have a few anti-Muslim posts

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/09/islam-form-of-satanism_10.html

However few Jews convert to Islam so that's not my focus.

Anonymous said...

Since atheists have killed more people than Moslims have, e.g. Stlain, Mao, etc., etc. then they seem to be more dangerous than Moslims.

gobbie said...

"You mean you have to look in more than one place in the Torah, not to mention the Talmud, to get a better picture of a certain Jewish law?"

The Talmud had to reverse or limit Torah laws, for humanitarian concerns, using human reason. Jews haven't burned witches or harlots in a long time.

The point of my comment was to show that "divine" law wasn't necessarily moral.

jewish philosopher said...

A straw man version of divine law may be immoral.

Actually, Orthodox Jews are a lot nicer than most people

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/orthodox-jewish-crime.html

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/08/samsons-struggle-satmar-and-others.html

Abe said...

gobbie said...

>>>The Talmud had to reverse or limit Torah laws, for humanitarian concerns, using human reason. Jews haven't burned witches or harlots in a long time.

The point of my comment was to show that "divine" law wasn't necessarily moral.<<<

And no better an example of reversing of a torah law that orders you to cut off a woman's hand. The traditional translation is this:
Deuteronomy 25:11 -- "If two men get into a hand-to-hand fight, and the wife of one of them gets involved to help her husband against his attacker, and she reaches out her hand and grabs his genitals, 25:12 then you must cut off her hand – do not pity her."
Through ingenious exegesis the rabbis reduced the punishment to a monetary fine, although the text clearly otherwise. Well, perhaps not that clearly. The rabbis were probably mistranslating the torah.

There are a number of biblical scholars that assert that "you must cut off her hand" is a mistranslation of the hebrew. It actualy means “you shall shave the hair of her groin.” No where in the torah is this type of physical mutilation inflicted and it seems out of place. It makes a lot more sense from the context of the verse.

http://doctor.claudemariottini.com/
...another interpertation of the punishment in Deuteronomy 25: 12 was proposed by Jerome Walsh. Walsh contends that Deuteronomy 25:12 should be translated “you shall shave the hair of her groin.”

Walsh’s view argues that the woman’s punishment would be a public dishonoring of the woman for publicly shaming the man. Thus, in his view, the punishment would be an application of the lex talionis since she shamed the man by touching his genitals. The view that the woman’s punishment was public depilation reduces the severity of her punishment from mutilation, a punishment that is irreversible, to one of temporary shame.

In the Hebrew Bible, exposing the genitals was an act of humiliating prisoners of war. Exposing a person’s genitals appears in Isaiah 3:17; 20:4; and Ezekiel 16:37. In Isaiah 7:20 the King of Assyria will humiliate the people of Judah by shaving “the hair of the feet,” that is, the people’s pubic hair as a way of humiliating them. Although exposing the genitals was an act of humiliation, there is no evidence that the Deuteronomic legislation requires public shaving of the genitals....

jewish philosopher said...

In rabbinical Judaism the Talmud takes precidense over the Pentateuch. If you have problems with all the burnings, choppings, etc call a Karaite, not a rabbi.

Abe said...

jewish philosopher said...
>>>In rabbinical Judaism the Talmud takes precidense over the Pentateuch. If you have problems with all the burnings, choppings, etc call a Karaite, not a rabbi.<<<

God must be very angry for blemishing his torah with your protean transmorgifications. No wonder he's always threatening to kill you. Now that Rav Elyahsev has banned most fish, god's wrath will be swift. Prepare yourself for the worst.
http://www.vosizneias.com/53991/2010/04/25/new-york-report-israeli-gedolim-sign-kol-koreh-against-worms-in-fish/

Anonymous said...

"In rabbinical Judaism the Talmud takes precidense over the Pentateuch."


It's that easy. Claim authority and then re-make the Torah however you wish. Rabbinic Judaism re-makes the Torah into OJ, Christians re-make Torah into a pre-figuration of Jesus, Muslims re-make Torah into the precursor of the Koran. For each major religious branch, Torah is literally a pre-text: it's just there so clerics can impose the rule they want on themselves and others. Each major branch argues that it holds the one correct way to approach Torah and understand it. All branches assume that Torah cannot be understood on its own and cannot be taken literally in all cases.

But as to your assertion that "It's hard to picture any system of ethics which demands more meticulous honesty and integrity than Orthodox Judaism": This may only be true in the one case you give if the OJ is required to maintain the same level of honesty with non-Jews as with Jews. It is said that often the Talmud permits dishonesty and fraud when we Jews interact with non-Jews. Surely, we know the usual excuses for such alleged discrepancies, but if they are allowed then OJ does not generally promote honesty and integrity. Indeed, Christianity's ethics may be considered superior in this regard.

jewish philosopher said...

The Talmudic law is based on rock solid evidence, as I have proven.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2010/03/jewish-literature-seeing-effects-of.html

Actually, the Almighty is thrilled with it. I recommend that everyone begin a vigorous program of Talmud study.

About non-Jews, I think you'll find that we treat them better than they treat each other. Every heard of a Hispanic liquor store owner held up by a hassidic gunman?

Speaking of fish Abe I find the identity and motives of Jewish skeptics to be quite fishy indeed.

Anonymous said...

The posuk doesn't say "cut off her hand." It says "cut off her palm." Palm is often used in different cultures refer to money.

gobbie, the annoying said...

"In rabbinical Judaism the Talmud takes precidense over the Pentateuch. If you have problems with all the burnings, choppings, etc call a Karaite, not a rabbi."

Ah, we agree on something! Clearly Talmudic Judaism is the basis of present day orthodox Judaism

The disagreement we have then is that I think that the rabbinic Judaism in the Talmud was invented by men, and you think it came from Sinai divinely.

Now we can argue on who rests the burden of proof!

Gobbie said...

The Talmud, like the Bible itself, contains claims of miraculous events and deeds, moral imperatives, divinely inspired knowledge, and historical narrative. Also, like the Bible, it does not claim that the book itself is divine, but rather its contents. So how are we to evaluate its claims?

One need only to look at its blatantly erroneous claims about nature, as well as its various contradictions and disputes, to understand that it was the product of human reason, and no more divinely inspired than the US Declaration of Independence.

What should then grant it authority over our lives, 1800 years later?

jewish philosopher said...

The Talmudic law is based on rock solid evidence, as I have proven.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2010/03/jewish-literature-seeing-effects-of.html

"One need only to look at its blatantly erroneous claims about nature"

Those are based on science of their times, not revelation. How do you think our science will sound in 2,000 years?

Anonymous said...

The Rabbi's admit that uch of what the Talmud comntains is man made. That's the definintion of a Mitzva DeRabonon.

The most common phrase in the Talmud is "Mino Hani Mili."Where is thus from? Every statement made by a Rabbi of the Talmud has to have a source in the Torah. The fallback explanation, is Halacha LeMoshe MiSinai. There must be a Mesorah.

jewish philosopher said...

As, I've explained, the Torah is eternal however Judaism changes.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/05/eternal-torah.html

Abe said...

jewish philosopher said...
>>>As, I've explained, the Torah is eternal however Judaism changes.<<<

Yes, but unfortunately, for the last 50 years it has been changing for the worse.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=922249&contrassID=2&subContrassID=16
Beit Shemesh Anglos protest rising violence by Haredim

...Tensions have been brewing in city for years, but for many of the protestors, the attack two weeks ago - when a woman and an male Israeli soldier were assaulted by ultra-Orthodox youth for sitting next to each other on a Beit Shemesh-bound Egged bus - was a watershed moment...

jewish philosopher said...

Well, in any community of a couple of million people you'll find a few nuts. And what would happen to a rabbi in an atheist state?

Abe said...

jewish philosopher said...
<<>>

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=173638
More than just a couple of nuts. Chareidi society is being transformed into one big nuthouse. Coercive gender segregation is now being imposed in the public square, and on the general population. Talibanization of Israel is proceeding at alarming levels. It soon will be no different than Saudi Arabia.


<<>>
In a modern atheist state, probably nothing, except perhaps demands that before he graduates high school, he learn to read, write, and understand the basic principles of math and science. In other words elements of a basic education that are sorly lacking in chareidi society.

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Editorials/Article.aspx?id=173144
...Making these numbers more alarming yet are school-enrollment trends. Should these continue, by 2040 78% of Israel’s youngsters would be educated in haredi or Arab schools, the very ones that notoriously ill-prepare their graduates for the modern workforce....

jewish philosopher said...

Abe, I'm sorry to tell you this, however the world's least free countries are the the Islamic and atheistic ones.

http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=363&year=2008

About education, many Jews consider spirituality a higher priority than money. I don't have a problem with that.

Gobbie the annoying said...

"About education, many Jews consider spirituality a higher priority than money. I don't have a problem with that."

Spirituality can't support a modern economy, and certainly not welfare payments to the heredi and Arab sectors.

"Well, in any community of a couple of million people you'll find a few nuts."

Its the extremists like you who enable those "nuts" and give religious legitimacy to their actions.

jewish philosopher said...

The peaceful, sober orthodox Jewish communities put everyone else to shame, as I've demonstrated.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/orthodox-jewish-crime.html

About modern economies, you may not be aware of this, however secular schools today are a mess and do little real teaching.

Abe said...

philosopher said...
>>>Abe, I'm sorry to tell you this, however the world's least free countries are the the Islamic and atheistic ones.<<<

Typical intentional obfuscation.
That website map mentions only free and non-free countries. It lists no atheist states. That is because, except for lunatic N. Korea, you are, for the most part, permitted practice of your religion as long as it does not conflict with state policy.

>>>About education, many Jews consider spirituality a higher priority than money. I don't have a problem with that.<<<
Its not about money, its about religious disdain for secular scholarship because it is a threat to their fundamentalist beliefs.
Thus chareidim would have no problem establishing an outpost in Bejing as long they modified their disdain for secular scholarship and it was not odds with Communist policy of a good secular education.

jewish philosopher said...

According to human rights monitoring groups, pretty much all states with abysmal human rights records are either states which officially promote atheism (China for example, maybe Russia) or Islam.

I think therefore atheists should go a little easy on rabbi bashing.

About modern education, isn't this the same education which has produced global warming and nuclear weapons, which threaten the existence of life on earth? Could be a mixed blessing in there.

Anonymous said...

Charedim have no problem with people learning a trade, even a high tech one like computer programming.

Abe said...

jewish philosopher said...
<<>>

Do you just make this stuff up or is there some secret medrashic prophecy from which you derive your twisted half-truths.
The facts don't back up your assertions.
And you would find yourself right at home with your co-religionists in Islamic Saudi Arabia or Iran -- beheading homosexuals almost make you blood brothers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

...Between 64% and 65% of Japanese describe themselves as atheists, agnostics, or non-believers,[8][9] and to 48% in Russia.[8] The percentage of such persons in European Union member states ranges as low as single digits in Italy and some other countries, and up to 85% in Sweden.[8]...


<<>>
Indeed it is a blessing but is hardy mixed. The benefits of secular education entirely eclipses any disadvantage. The atomic bomb which saved many hundreds of thousands of American lives brought WWII to an end.
Even if you believe that global warming is man-made, it is the by-product of economic improvement and prosperity, a trade-off that almost all thinking persons would welcome.
OTOH orthodox religious education has delivered little except slavish obsession to irrational absurdity.

jewish philosopher said...

Japan and Sweden do not officially promote atheism. China, probably Russia, do. I'm not going to even mention North Korea.

"The benefits of secular education entirely eclipses any disadvantage."

So far, yes. But don't forget the immortal words of Yogi Berra: "It ain't over till it's over."

"orthodox religious education has delivered little except slavish obsession to irrational absurdity."

I would revise that: American higher education has delivered little except slavish obsession to irrational absurdity.

Most kids study fluff like political science, sociology or psychology.

Anonymous said...

Abe:

I understand that the suicide rate in Sweden and Japan is very high, their allegde atheism is a mixed blessing.

And Orhtodox Relgious Education had delivered things like tzedaka, chesed, etc, etc. I guess you don't consider those things valuable.

Gobbie said...

"Charedim have no problem with people learning a trade, even a high tech one like computer programming."

I would admit that Heredi Judaism covers a wide spectrum. You JP belong to a stream that embraces secular study. They wouldn't even dare blog the way you do. But many, particular in Israel, oppose it.

Most Heredim in Israel are poor, not because they enjoy poverty, but they belong to communities that frown upon higher education and mixing with the secular world. This shunning condemns them to being uneducated and poor. This segment of society threatens to become a majority in a few decades, which will drain the economy and put an unaccepable burden on those people who do work and pay taxes. (Unless something changes!)

jewish philosopher said...

The long range future of Israel is irrelevant because it is not a viable state.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/10/israel-holocaust-20.html

If it does endure, I would speculate that it will only be thanks to the spiritual merit of Talmudic scholars.

Anonymous said...

"tzedaka, chesed, etc, etc."

These ideas and practices were around long before desert religions claimed to invent them.

There's not one ethical matter or practice that's original to Torah. Not one. Not monotheism (although Torah's monotheism is debateable), not the "weekend," not the day of rest, not loving one's fellow, not prohibitions on incest, adultery, and stealing. So on an so forth.

Torah's great. I'm not trying to berate it. But it's not new and not divine. It's an interesting old book on the religion of people long ago, people that today would appear ignorant, intolerant, and unjust.

jewish philosopher said...

"There's not one ethical matter or practice that's original to Torah. Not one. Not monotheism (although Torah's monotheism is debateable), not the "weekend," not the day of rest, not loving one's fellow,"

Cite examples please. And don't forget the invention of the alphabet.

Joebaum said...

JP.
I salute you, keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Sure. Zoroastrianism (1700 BCE) was the earliest monotheistic religion. Later, in Egypt, Pharaoh Akhenaten became became an uncompromising monotheist.

The seven-day week, 24-hour day, and the idea of a day of rest emerged from the Ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures.

Before the Hebrew alphabet, there was Old Hebrew, and before this was Phoenician and Proto Canaanite. I'm not sure of the dates of scripts and alphabets such as Ugaritic and Proto-Ambic.

Again, not to take anything away fro Torah and later-evolving Torah culture. I'm just saying that Torah represents on stage in human cultural development. It's not really a point of origin for much of anything other than Abrahamic religion.

I don't see any reason for one to feel less pride in Judaism simply because it's not the end-all be-all of human existence. Judaism is what it is, and that should be enough.

Anonymous said...

And...having just looked at Joebaum's site, JP must be just delighted with the salute. If your friends include Joebaum and Nat, you have the wrong enemies.

Abe said...

jewish philosopher said...
"There's not one ethical matter or practice that's original to Torah. Not one. Not monotheism (although Torah's monotheism is debateable), not the "weekend," not the day of rest, not loving one's fellow,"

>>>Cite examples please. And don't forget the invention of the alphabet.<<<

Nonsense. Eastern countries developed ethics as moraly righteous as Judaism. This developed independently from Jewish ethical principles.

http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Ethics_in_religion_-_Buddhist_ethics/id/1227085

...Buddhism's ethical foundation for laypeople is the Pancasila: no killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct, or intoxicants. (Some Mahayana followers add further items such as gambling.) That is, in becoming a Buddhist--or affirming one's commitment to Buddhism--a layperson is encouraged to vow to abstain from these negative actions, in order to avoid accumulating negative karma. Buddhist monks and nuns take many hundreds more such vows...

jewish philosopher said...

"Zoroastrianism (1700 BCE) was the earliest monotheistic religion."

A 11th/10th century BCE date is now widely accepted among Iranists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroaster#Date

"Pharaoh Akhenaten became became an uncompromising monotheist."

Not really.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akhenaten#Religious_policies

"The seven-day week, 24-hour day, and the idea of a day of rest emerged from the Ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures."

Not really.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonian_calendar#Days

"Before the Hebrew alphabet, there was Old Hebrew"

The earliest legible alphabetic inscription is in Hebrew from the Sinai dating from c. 1500 BCE.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ba%60alat.jpg

Of course, the oldest existing book written with an alphabet is the Torah.

"Eastern countries developed ethics as moraly righteous as Judaism."

But not charity or love of neighbors.

Abe said...

"Eastern countries developed ethics as moraly righteous as Judaism."

jewish philosopher said
<<>>

More obfuscation coupled with programmed disregard for earlier falacious assertions:
>>>Cite examples please. And don't forget the invention of the alphabet.<<<

Love of neighbors? Hardly.

Jeremiah 47:4 says, "Because of the day that cometh to spoil all the Philistines, and to cut off from Tyrus and Zidon every helper that remaineth: for the LORD will spoil the Philistines, the remnant of the country of Caphtor."

1 Samuel 14:47,
"So Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines: and whithersoever he turned himself, he vexed them."

Ancient Israel was not a very loving neighbor. More like the bellicose nations who bordered their land. They had much in common when it came killing each other.

Joebaum said...

Sorry about my blog, i wrote it a long time ago when i couldn't write almost a word of english, now i edited it a little bit.

jewish philosopher said...

"Neighbor" means "fellow Jews".

In any case, as I have shown, altruism began with Judaism.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/01/genius-of-judaism-kindness.html

Abe said...

jewish philosopher said...
<<<"Neighbor" means "fellow Jews".>>>

Really? Those ancient Hebrews weren't very neighborly as they slaughtered each other in the Judah-Israel wars. Maybe neighbor really means enemy or perhaps anything you want it to mean to make it fit your tortured notions of jewish comity.

http://wapedia.mobi/en/Kingdom_of_Judah#3.
...For the first sixty years, the kings of Judah tried to re-establish their authority over the northern kingdom, and there was perpetual war between them. Israel and Judah were in a state of war throughout Rehoboam's seventeen year reign. Rehoboam built elaborate defenses and strongholds, along with fortified cities. In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign Pharaoh Shishaq of Egypt, brought a huge army and took many cities. When they laid siege to Jerusalem, Rehoboam gave them all of the treasures out of the temple as a tribute, and Judah became a vassal state of Egypt. Rehoboam's son and successor, Abijah continued his father's efforts to bring Israel under his control. He waged a major battle against Jeroboam of Israel, and was victorious with a heavy loss of life on the Israel side, [14] after which Jeroboam posed little threat to Judah for the rest of his reign and the border of the Tribe of Benjamin was restored to the original tribal border....

jewish philosopher said...

Unfortunately, in some cases throughout the ages Jews have sinned. Why don't you Abe show us how to truly repent?

Anonymous said...

Abe:

You don't believe that the Bible is true, t=so there is no evidence that the Israelies engaged in any of the wars you mentioned. And the Bible does say that they were engaged in defensive wars.

bob said...

Jp, how do you explain this gemara (Tractate Niddah 47a-b)

"Rav Nachman was not careful about causing embarrassment to his maids and would give them to others' workers for sex. Rav Sheshet would even give them to gentiles for sex"

jewish philosopher said...

First of all the Torah permits slavery, which I argue is not necessarily a bad thing.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/04/slavery-is-it-evil.html

Rav Nachman and Rav Sheshet ruled that it is permitted to embarrass a slave. Therefore they felt that it was permissible to command their female slaves to have sex with numerous different slaves or gentiles, rather than assigning them one committed partner, in spite of the embarrassment involved.

Maimonides rules that the law in practice does not follow their opinion. (Laws of Slaves 9:8)

לא יבזהו, לא ביד ולא בדברים

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/c509.htm

Anonymous said...

so you are admitting that some of the sages of the talmud had no problem forcing young girls to have sex with strange men? and that the only reason some held it was morally wrong was because they held that you shouldnt embarrass a slave?

jewish philosopher said...

I have no idea how old the slave women were and what type of coersion if any was involved.

Anonymous said...

if there was no coercion why would it be considered embarrasing them? it would just be letting them do somthing they want to do

jewish philosopher said...

Women who have sex with many men are called nasty names. Ask someone else for more details.

In any case, Maimonides decided that we may not follow this opinion.

Dan Gambiera said...

Of course "Torah ethics" are no such thing. What you have now are Tanya ethics, chumra ethics and Talmudic ethics. Simple things like dealing righteously with all - as commanded by Hashem - have been superseded. Now we are told that it's alright to cheat and steal from Gentiles, that they don't have souls the way we do, so murdering one doesn't really count. On the other hand if one of them accidentally hurts one of us he dies.

And I notice that your beloved Litvish hold with the posek that we can ignore the direct unequivocal command of Hashem. He says "Thou shalt not steal". Once the pilpullers were finished with it it turned into "Thou shalt not kidnap".

Face it. Things with too many legs that live under rocks know more about ethics than most of the "gedolim".

jewish philosopher said...

I've never been advised by a rabbi to do something illegal.