A Short History of Jewish Ethics: Conduct and Character in by Alan L. Mittleman, Andy Paris

By Alan L. Mittleman, Andy Paris

A brief heritage of Jewish Ethics strains the advance of Jewish ethical strategies and moral mirrored image from its Biblical roots to the current day. Offers an enticing and considerate account of Jewish ethics Brings jointly and discusses a huge diversity of historic assets overlaying millennia of writings and conversationsCombines present scholarship with unique insightsWritten by way of an incredible across the world well-known student of Jewish philosophy and ethics

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Extra info for A Short History of Jewish Ethics: Conduct and Character in the Context of Covenant

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This separation cum subversion intensifies as the text moves to the philosophical dialogue between the king and the sages. The dialogues take place over food, prepared by the royal court in accordance with the dietary requirements of the Jewish guests – a far cry from medieval prohibitions on commensality even if dietary specifications are satisfied. As a sovereign, the king is a public person interested not only in how to be a good man but in how to be a good king. The sages, therefore, tailor their presentation of Jewish moral wisdom to the needs of political ethics.

This reflects a high sense of transcendence, of macro-level cosmic order within which human significance is meager. The work of priests is to keep the energy flowing, as it were, to repair the breaches in the wall of purity such that God can remain connected to his sanctuary and endow his holy land and people with life. The God of H remains transcendent but is drawn into another paradigm: the God of the covenant, the God who enters into morally recognizable relations with human beings. Henceforth, holiness will have to do with more than the separation of sacred objects, persons, places, and times from the profane; it will have to do with moral life, with the quality of actions and intentions.

Indd 33 8/25/2011 4:35:46 PM 34 A Short History of Jewish Ethics you; Before you were born, I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet concerning the nations” (Jer. 1:5). The issue here is neither sin nor punishment but ranges of condition that limit freedom of choice. Jeremiah’s choices in life were severely constrained, to say the least. Here something like fate enters the picture, a constraint on freedom of agency so deep as to be structural. (The more common case, however, is of the reluctant prophet who fears to accept his call.

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