Jewish Forum & Discussions - Chabad Talk  

Go Back   Jewish Forum & Discussions - Chabad Talk > Torah and Judaism > General

Reply
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Unread 02-26-2006, 09:27 PM   #26
DW Duke
Diamond Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,337
Here is another interesting thought. I deal with hundreds of American Jewish attorneys in my law practice and have for many years. Yet, I cannot think of any who believe that Jews should treat non Jews any differently than they treat Jews with respect to civil transactions. (The obvious exception of course would be in matters of halacha such as intermarriage etc.) In fact, many of them are consitutional law attorneys active with such orgainizations as the Simon Wiesenthal Center and are staunch supporters of civil rights. They firmly believe that the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment should be a universal concept and would oppose any legislation that would favor Jews over goyim. They also believe in the 13 principles of faith yet would oppose such discrimination even in the messianic era. I am referring to both orthodox and reformed Jewish attorneys. Would you say they are off the derech?
DW Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-26-2006, 09:34 PM   #27
milwaukee
Executive Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by DW Duke
Here is another interesting thought. I deal with hundreds of American Jewish attorneys in my law practice and have for many years. Yet, I cannot think of any who believe that Jews should treat non Jews any differently than they treat Jews with respect to civil transactions. (The obvious exception of course would be in matters of halacha such as intermarriage etc.) In fact, many of them are consitutional law attorneys active with such orgainizations as the Simon Wiesenthal Center and are staunch supporters of civil rights. They firmly believe that the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment should be a universal concept and would oppose any legislation that would favor Jews over goyim. They also believe in the 13 principles of faith yet would oppose such discrimination even in the messianic era. I am referring to both orthodox and reformed Jewish attorneys. Would you say they are off the derech?
They are practicing in the American sprirt of "all people are created equal." One could argue that Jewish and American jurisprudence has taught us the truth of this equality principle.
For instance the Torah no longer allows polygamy or slavery for that matter. I'm not sure if its becuase we have developed as a society to recognize the injustice in slavery and polygamy or becuase we no longer have a Jewish monarchy?
milwaukee is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-26-2006, 10:00 PM   #28
DW Duke
Diamond Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,337
Quote:
Originally Posted by milwaukee
They are practicing in the American sprirt of "all people are created equal." One could argue that Jewish and American jurisprudence has taught us the truth of this equality principle.
For instance the Torah no longer allows polygamy or slavery for that matter. I'm not sure if its becuase we have developed as a society to recognize the injustice in slavery and polygamy or becuase we no longer have a Jewish monarchy?
Excellant answer Milwaukee. I am inclined to believe it is the first of your possible explanations. Would it seem fair to say that it is possible that Jews can adopt a standard of behavior that exceeds the minimum standards set forth in the Torah law? If so, is this higher standard of behavior a form of mitzvah that triggers the revelation of Moshiach.

As a footnote, I believe the messianic government will be a true monarchy and Moshiach will be a true king, but it will be a constitutional monarchy with very firm provisions protecting the rights of Israeli citizens in a manner consistent with the Torah. Issues unrelated to halacha, human and civil rights and national security may be a matter of popular vote via a representative process, but issues pertaining to halacha, national security and human and civil rights will be set forth in the constitution which may be amended only by a very rigorous process consistent with the principles set forth in the Sanhedrin. For example, the citizens of Israel should have the right to peaceful assembly and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances even against the government.
DW Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-26-2006, 10:05 PM   #29
JewishHiphop
Diamond Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,180
how well does one treat their slave?

When our Sages said that "one who aquires a slave, has aquired for himself a master", did this only apply to a Hebrew slave or does it apply to a Canaanite slave as well?
JewishHiphop is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-26-2006, 10:20 PM   #30
milwaukee
Executive Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by DW Duke
For example, the citizens of Israel should have the right to peaceful assembly and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances even against the government.
Ok, now im really intrigued. When it comes to the right to a fair trial, protection against self-incrimination and other due process protections, Talmudic jurisprudence leads the way.

But, what mesechata/Jewish sources speak about the right to "peacebaly assemble" and "petition for redress against the gov" ?
milwaukee is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-26-2006, 11:26 PM   #31
DW Duke
Diamond Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,337
Quote:
Originally Posted by milwaukee
Ok, now im really intrigued. When it comes to the right to a fair trial, protection against self-incrimination and other due process protections, Talmudic jurisprudence leads the way.

But, what mesechata/Jewish sources speak about the right to "peacebaly assemble" and "petition for redress against the gov" ?
The right to assemble peacefully is the malchut of Israel. (See Exodus 19:17, Esther 4:16.) It can never be taken away for it is an inalienable right of the Jews.

The purpose of the government is to serve the people whose purpose is to serve HaShem. Where the kings of Israel violated the rights of its citizens the prophets acted in the capacity of counselor for the citizens. (See II Samuel 12:1-5) Where there are no prophets then a representative of the aggrieved party acts in the capacity of the counselor. This would be done within the courts when necessary.

It is also important to remember that the fact that a constitutional protection (or concept) is not included within the writings of the sages does not prevent Moshiach from including such protections for the people of Israel. We may hold ourselves to a higher standard than the minimum standards of governmental restraint that existed in ancient Israel.

Last edited by DW Duke; 02-26-2006 at 11:35 PM.
DW Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-26-2006, 11:34 PM   #32
DW Duke
Diamond Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,337
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kol Mevaser
When our Sages said that "one who aquires a slave, has aquired for himself a master", did this only apply to a Hebrew slave or does it apply to a Canaanite slave as well?
In some sense I always thought of this as a slightly tongue in cheek statement by the sages similar to our saying that only a fool is his own attorney. Nonetheless, it is a truthful statement which I believe applies to a slave of any nationality or religion. Unfortunately, I don't have a citation off hand, however.
DW Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 01:01 AM   #33
teva
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DW Duke
Are you sure it is not prevelant? I was under the impression that it had entered the mainstream Jewish society. I see ribbis between Jews on a daily basis. Moreover, Jews deal with various financial institutions on a daily basis many of which are owned by Jews.
Money Lending is only one way a person can come to charge interest. In reality Ribis applies to anything and everything.
teva is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 01:19 AM   #34
DW Duke
Diamond Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,337
My understanding of the concept of heter iskah is that it involves an investment with a risk and usually a variable rate of return. Ribbis, in the context of money lending, only applies where there is a guaranteed return and a borrowing as opposed to an investment. Sometimes perhaps the distinction is illusory and is intended only to avoid the prohibition on ribbis.
DW Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 02:04 AM   #35
mcp
Executive Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 436
I am waiting for the ethnocentrists to come out from their hidey holes. Where are you ?

Yes, Milwaukee, Judaism and especially chabad is very very ethonocentric and xenophobic. Not that much more than other religions, I don't think.

Quote:
Would it seem fair to say that it is possible that Jews can adopt a standard of behavior that exceeds the minimum standards set forth in the Torah law? If so, is this higher standard of behavior a form of mitzvah that triggers the revelation of Moshiach
The people on this site would say that the Torah is the ultimate in moral standards and higher standards is a misnomer, a mistake. They base these opinions on the writings of the rebbeim, especially on the Tanya.

I'm very surprised this thread has gotten this far. Good job.
mcp is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 02:17 AM   #36
The Eighth King
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,302
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcp
I am waiting for the ethnocentrists to come out from their hidey holes. Where are you ?

Yes, Milwaukee, Judaism and especially chabad is very very ethonocentric and xenophobic. Not that much more than other religions, I don't think.
You hit the nail right on the head, mcp. Rationally, all moral standards are valueless when they are not Divine in origin. This is a logical truth that can be arrived at through reason.

Because the Torah, both written and oral, are Divine in origin, it is the Torah that determines what is "moral" and what is "immoral" (as explained at length in numerous other threads). This is not an "opinion", nor is it "based on the writings of the Rebbeim" or "on the Tanya". The Divine origin of the Torah is an undisputable historal truth. This is not the case with the historical veracity of other religions.

IMHO this should be the focal point of any discussions of Torah "morality," as what is ultimately in question is the value of the Torah in relation to other "moral codes" that were devised by men.

The real question is, "What is the Torah?" and it is this question that must responded to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcp
Quote:
Would it seem fair to say that it is possible that Jews can adopt a standard of behavior that exceeds the minimum standards set forth in the Torah law? If so, is this higher standard of behavior a form of mitzvah that triggers the revelation of Moshiach
The people on this site would say that the Torah is the ultimate in moral standards and higher standards is a misnomer, a mistake. They base these opinions on the writings of the rebbeim, especially on the Tanya.

I'm very surprised this thread has gotten this far. Good job.
Actually, the people on this site are Chassidim, i.e. those who act "lifnim meshuras hadin - Beyond the letter of the law". This means that although there is a bare minimum moral standard set forth in Torah, there are additional levels of higher standards that one can accept upon himself, beyond the bare minimum.

The same is true of Gentiles. Although there is a bare minimum standard of the seven noachide laws, a Gentile may act above and beyond the moral standard that is required of him, accepting additional Mitzvos upon himself (except for certain Mitzvos which are forbidden to him). He recieves additional reward for this.

Last edited by The Eighth King; 02-27-2006 at 02:47 AM.
The Eighth King is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 02:47 AM   #37
milwaukee
Executive Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Eigth King
You hit the nail right on the head, mcp. Rationally, all moral standards are valueless when they are not Divine in origin. This is a logical truth that can be arrived at through reason.
For the most part I agree, however, we can also fine tune and develop moral standards based on past experinces with injustices. Not change but develop.
For instance, Womens learning institutions was once seen as against the Torah. Slavery was accepted. Polygamy was accepted.
The Ramabam explains that the purpose of animal sacrifice was to wean society from the more barbaric ritual of human sacrifice (Moreh Nevuchim. Part III, chapter 32). I believe this concpet applies to other areas of Torah too.
We can learn from when we apply moral standards based on past Historical events.

In this article on slavery Rabbi Tzvi Freeman discusses this concept of developing tradition.
http://www.chabad.org/library/article.asp?AID=305549

Last edited by milwaukee; 02-27-2006 at 02:53 AM.
milwaukee is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 03:33 AM   #38
The Eighth King
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,302
Quote:
Originally Posted by milwaukee
For the most part I agree, however, we can also fine tune and develop moral standards based on past experinces with injustices. Not change but develop.
For instance, Womens learning institutions was once seen as against the Torah. Slavery was accepted. Polygamy was accepted.
The Ramabam explains that the purpose of animal sacrifice was to wean society from the more barbaric ritual of human sacrifice (Moreh Nevuchim. Part III, chapter 32). I believe this concpet applies to other areas of Torah too.
We can learn from when we apply moral standards based on past Historical events.

In this article on slavery Rabbi Tzvi Freeman discusses this concept of developing tradition.
http://www.chabad.org/library/article.asp?AID=305549
Indeed it is true that our understanding of Torah can be developed and our conducts can be modified accordingly. However, these progressions do not stem from "past experiences with moral injustice" as you write. Rather, they derive from a deeper understanding of the Torah itself.

Thus, what it boils down to is that it is the Torah, written and oral, that determine moral truths, and any "code of moral law" must have a firm root in Torah sources in order to be accepted. Moreover, the extent to which the Torah's code of "moral law" can be modified is quite limited and restricted by the Torah itself.

Last edited by The Eighth King; 02-27-2006 at 03:36 AM.
The Eighth King is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 05:22 AM   #39
milwaukee
Executive Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Eigth King
Quote:
Originally Posted by milwaukee
For the most part I agree, however, we can also fine tune and develop moral standards based on past experinces with injustices. Not change but develop.
For instance, Womens learning institutions was once seen as against the Torah. Slavery was accepted. Polygamy was accepted.
The Ramabam explains that the purpose of animal sacrifice was to wean society from the more barbaric ritual of human sacrifice (Moreh Nevuchim. Part III, chapter 32). I believe this concpet applies to other areas of Torah too.
We can learn from when we apply moral standards based on past Historical events.

In this article on slavery Rabbi Tzvi Freeman discusses this concept of developing tradition.
http://www.chabad.org/library/article.asp?AID=305549
Indeed it is true that our understanding of Torah can be developed and our conducts can be modified accordingly. However, these progressions do not stem from "past experiences with moral injustice" as you write. Rather, they derive from a deeper understanding of the Torah itself.

Thus, what it boils down to is that it is the Torah, written and oral, that determine moral truths, and any "code of moral law" must have a firm root in Torah sources in order to be accepted. Moreover, the extent to which the Torah's code of "moral law" can be modified is quite limited and restricted by the Torah itself.
I agree with you. I'm just trying to understand this in an historical framework.
Can you please explain how, " they derive from a deeper understanding of the Torah itself " idea works given the examples I cite above? Especially Rambams explanation for animal sacrifice, the womens institution example, and Chabad.org writer R. Tzvi Freeman's explanation of slavery?

Last edited by milwaukee; 02-27-2006 at 07:53 AM.
milwaukee is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 11:48 AM   #40
NRA
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by DW Duke
Here is another interesting thought. I deal with hundreds of American Jewish attorneys in my law practice and have for many years. Yet, I cannot think of any who believe that Jews should treat non Jews any differently than they treat Jews with respect to civil transactions. (The obvious exception of course would be in matters of halacha such as intermarriage etc.) In fact, many of them are consitutional law attorneys active with such orgainizations as the Simon Wiesenthal Center and are staunch supporters of civil rights. They firmly believe that the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment should be a universal concept and would oppose any legislation that would favor Jews over goyim. They also believe in the 13 principles of faith yet would oppose such discrimination even in the messianic era. I am referring to both orthodox and reformed Jewish attorneys. Would you say they are off the derech?
I guess the correct way to categorize us; (Jews) would be Jewish separatists.
NRA is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 11:49 AM   #41
Hiskashrus
Diamond Member
 
Hiskashrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,450
seperatists are the last thing we are. we are all about the world and our surroundings.
__________________
Hiskashrus: available at a sforim shank near you
Hiskashrus is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 12:29 PM   #42
The Eighth King
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,302
Quote:
Originally Posted by milwaukee
I agree with you. I'm just trying to understand this in an historical framework.
Can you please explain how, " they derive from a deeper understanding of the Torah itself " idea works given the examples I cite above? Especially Rambams explanation for animal sacrifice, the womens institution example, and Chabad.org writer R. Tzvi Freeman's explanation of slavery?
I don't have time right now for a whole exposition, but here are a few points or suggestions.

1. To understand the framework (both historical and otherwise) of how Halacha is arrived at, I highly suggest studying the "Principles of the Talmud" printed at the end of Tractate Brachos. Also look into how the Shulchan Oruch was written, and perhaps study a section in depth.

2. You cited the Rambam's Moreh HaNevuchim.
a. This book is not a Halacha book, but is a Hashkafah book.

b. He was not coming to abolish animal sacrifices - as he is incapable of doing such a thing. Rather, he was coming to explain a "hashkafah" of what the purpose of animal sacrifices is.

c. The Rambam provides a source in Torah for his view.

d. This view is not the "end all" view, that is "morally advanced" over other views. Rather, it is a single possible understanding of the function of sacrifices. There are also other possible views as to the purpose of Korbanos, like the views of Kabbalah and Chassidus, which if not stronger are at least equally valid.

[e. In part II, ch. 15-16 the Rambam himself falls back onto the view that I suggested above, and the superiority of a Divine body of knowledge recieved via prophecy over and above reason and intellect alone.]
3. In the article you cited, Rabbi Freeman himself wrote:
"As those Talmudic sages put it, "Any new idea a qualified Torah student comes up with was already given to Moses at Sinai." The idea is new, but it's still Torah. It's new, because until now it was hidden deep within the folds and creases of the package Moses delivered. It's Torah, because all the qualified student did was unfold the package and smooth out the creases."
In other words, all that this "qualified Torah student" has done was to reveal something that was already there (גילוי מילתא בעלמא). (Also see Meluket Gimel, ד"ה וידבר אלקים את כל הדברים כו.)

4. I am not sure what Rabbi Freeman's conclusion was there, as I didn't read the entire article. However, my point is really quite simple. It seems to me that when confronted with a question of, "how the Torah can allow something that we humans determine is morally inacceptable?" there is really a deeper question being asked: "What is the Torah, and what distinguishes it from all other moral systems? Why is the Torah superior to any other moral codes?" When this underlying question is responded to properly, the more external question will fall away.

Last edited by The Eighth King; 02-27-2006 at 12:33 PM.
The Eighth King is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 01:51 PM   #43
NRA
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiskashrus
seperatists are the last thing we are. we are all about the world and our surroundings.
Yes we affiliate with the outer world in order to help secular Jews find there way home. We make sure not to be influenced by the outer world, we separate ourselves.
NRA is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 02:52 PM   #44
DW Duke
Diamond Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,337
Quote:
Posted by the Eighth King: Actually, the people on this site are Chassidim, i.e. those who act "lifnim meshuras hadin - Beyond the letter of the law". This means that although there is a bare minimum moral standard set forth in Torah, there are additional levels of higher standards that one can accept upon himself, beyond the bare minimum.

The same is true of Gentiles. Although there is a bare minimum standard of the seven noachide laws, a Gentile may act above and beyond the moral standard that is required of him, accepting additional Mitzvos upon himself (except for certain Mitzvos which are forbidden to him). He recieves additional reward for this.
Very well stated.
DW Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 04:04 PM   #45
Hiskashrus
Diamond Member
 
Hiskashrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,450
no, we do not have a single goal of "helping secular jews" - this is by all terms a missionary style statement which the rebbe highly opposed of. i was in judaica world today, and i glanced at a clock which stated "chabad lubavitch - changing the world, one mitzvah at a time". this was more close to what the rebbe envisioned.
__________________
Hiskashrus: available at a sforim shank near you
Hiskashrus is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 04:36 PM   #46
milwaukee
Executive Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by NRA
Yes we affiliate with the outer world in order to help secular Jews find there way home. We make sure not to be influenced by the outer world, we separate ourselves.
The whole sepratists mentality in the Jewish community is a recent invention. Its called the ghettoization of our communities (dating back mayabe 100-200 years ago in eastern europe). The Neturi Karta, slonim, toldos Aahron and others mostly in Meya Sharim still have this mentality. It's a result of opression not Jewish tradition.

Lubavitch not only helps "secular" Jews but also influneces goyim to keep the sheva mitzvas.

I guess it all comes down to how you define sepratism? If it simply means not marrying "goyim" (btw: Jews come in all races and are considered Jewish irrespective of race) then yes. Just be carfeul using that term because it carries negative connontations.

Last edited by milwaukee; 02-27-2006 at 04:49 PM.
milwaukee is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 06:25 PM   #47
RebLazer
Gold Member
 
RebLazer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 783
Quote:
Originally Posted by milwaukee
I want to refute the common misconception that the Torah is ethnocentric.
Is a person "ethnocentric" because he loves his family members and not his neighbors?

Is a country "ethnocentric" because its citizens enjoy rights and privileges that non-citizens do not?
RebLazer is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 07:56 PM   #48
DW Duke
Diamond Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,337
Quote:
Originally Posted by RebLazer
Is a person "ethnocentric" because he loves his family members and not his neighbors?

Is a country "ethnocentric" because its citizens enjoy rights and privileges that non-citizens do not?
No. This is something that every country does. Citizens in the United States for example have rights that non-citizens do not possess unless they have a "green card." Moreover, even states within the US discriminate against nonresidents of their state. For example, it is normal for a state university to charge out of state tuition to nonresidents of the state. This is perfectly acceptable. Where it would become a controversy in the US is where a state or federal government discriminates against a citizen on the basis of race or religion (or one of the other "suspect" classes.)
DW Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 08:38 PM   #49
Hiskashrus
Diamond Member
 
Hiskashrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,450
discrimination in that case is necessary, since all of those who discriminate have something in common: it is in their best interests to better the land of the US, whereas foreigners are [hopefully] out to better their own country.
__________________
Hiskashrus: available at a sforim shank near you
Hiskashrus is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-27-2006, 10:34 PM   #50
DW Duke
Diamond Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,337
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiskashrus
discrimination in that case is necessary, since all of those who discriminate have something in common: it is in their best interests to better the land of the US, whereas foreigners are [hopefully] out to better their own country.
That is true. Additionally, the simple reality is that every nation has limited resources. No nation could indiscriminately open its doors to everyone who wanted to immigrate. For that reason, discrimination against non-citizens is considered acceptable. Any thoughts on who should be given citizenship status in Israel in the messianic era?
DW Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Jewish Music Jac Halachah & Minhagim 506 12-30-2011 12:09 AM
Jewish club Angelzdotax Teenagers 17 11-06-2005 08:55 PM
Being Jewish BaisHamikdashBa General 6 08-31-2004 08:20 AM
What if you weren't Jewish? Yankel Nosson Yiddishkeit 71 11-13-2003 10:40 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
2001 - 2016 ChabadTalk.com