Tag Archives: Ethics

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Engage in a New Conversation about Israel with Open Circle Jewish Learning and iEngage

Few subjects in Jewish life today evoke as much controversy – and anxiety – as the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. So when we decided to offer the Hartman Institute’s “iEngage” video curriculum, “Jewish Values and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” in our Adult Education program at Temple Israel of Natick, I wasn’t quite sure how it would go. Every summer the Hartman Institute brings hundreds of Rabbis and lay leaders from across all… Read Article →

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Others, Brothers

The first big question that is posed in the Bible is when God asks Adam: “Ayeka–Where are you?”(Genesis 3:9). This is not the divine GPS gone awry; physical location is of no interest to God here. This one-word query in Hebrew is the spiritual and existential question par excellence. And since it is asked in reference to wrongdoing – eating of the forbidden fruit – it has a moral dimension… Read Article →

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Turning Memory Into Empathy: The Torah’s Ethical Charge

One of the Torah’s central projects is to turn memory into empathy and moral responsibility. Appealing to our experience of defenselessness in Egypt, the Torah seeks to transform us into people who see those who are vulnerable and exposed rather than looking past them. Parashat Mishpatim contains perhaps the most well-known articulation of this charge: “You shall not oppress a stranger (“ger”), for you know the feelings of the stranger,… Read Article →

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Is Hatred of Evil a Jewish Value?

Last week I was in Cleveland when the news broke about the young women who were rescued from captivity. The city of Cleveland was in shock as the details emerged that these innocent victims were held against their will for 10 years and suffered horrible abuse at the hands of their captor. The more we discovered about the cruel violence perpetrated against the three women, the more disgusted the nation… Read Article →