ETHICS OF JUDAISM

Introduction, Relationships & Lifestyles

Introduction, Relationships & Lifestyles

religious studiesJewish ethical life is guided by the 613 commandments of the Mitzvoth as laid out in the holy text, the Torah. Special weight is given to a selection of laws from the Mitzvoth, the Ten Commandments which are:

1. You shall have no other Gods but me.
2. You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
4. You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
5. Respect your father and mother.
6. You must not kill.
7. You must not commit adultery.
8. You must not steal.
9. You must not give false evidence against your neighbour.
10. You must not be envious of your neighbour’s goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbour.

The Jewish tradition also depends on Mishpatim (judgements) and Chukim (statutes) to guide believers through everyday life.

——————————————————

Relationships and Lifestyle

Jews believe that sex should be confined to marriage. The more conservative they are, the more strongly they will regard this as an important law.

religious studiesJewish marriage is a holy union between a man and a woman and is regarded as a joyous occasion. The Book of Genesis requires believers to go forth and multiply, meaning they should have children. No value is attached in the Jewish tradition to celibacy, which seems to go against God’s wishes.

Traditional Jewish law allows men to divorce their wives for any reason but does not give the same right to women. However, over the years the law has been reformed so that a man now requires a woman’s permission to divorce. Furthermore, a woman can apply to a Jewish religious court to order a man to divorce her in certain circumstances. Of course, Jews like everyone else are bound by the laws of the land they live in as well as by religious laws.

Conservative Jews consider homosexuality to be wrong, but many Progressive Jews do not share this view. Drinking wine in moderation is perfectly acceptable within Jewish teaching. Over-indulgence in alcohol and the use of illegal drugs is not.

——————————————————