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Jewish Morals and Personal Ethics
Find out the Jewish stance on hunting for sport.

Jewish Morals and Personal Ethics

Find out about Jewish attitudes in this Morals and Principles quiz.

Judaism is much more than just a religion, and tends to be looked upon by Jewish people as a way of life. There is a correct Jewish way for Jews to do everything, and Judaism has an attitude and response to every moral issue.

The Sabbath day is not only a very holy weekday, but central to the Jewish week. However, should someone be taken ill, or their life be threatened on the Sabbath ....
it is nevertheless important that nothing interferes with Sabbath observances
Jewish law may be set aside to avoid endangering someone's health and safety
immediate dispensation should be sought from the rabbi
seek out someone who can call an ambulance
A Jewish person is not merely permitted but actually required to disregard any Jewish law that conflicts with life or health as it is considered foolish, if not sinful, to help save a life. Rescuing and preserving a life takes precedence over the Sabbath
Tay Sachs, a fatal genetic disorder in children that causes progressive destruction of the central nervous system, is especially prevalent in Jewish people of Ashkenazi (immigrant of Middle Eastern biblical descent). In attempting to eliminate the disease, scientists are working on a genetic cure, but this is rather agonising for many Jews because ....
Jewish Law frowns upon interfering with the natural life cycle
it takes an extremely long dialogue process with the respective Rabbinical authority
it has been concluded that there is no cure for Tay Sachs disease
false genetic and eugenic arguments were used to justify the Holocaust
Over 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust, and the majority of these were Ashkenazi in origin
Although libel and slander (the transmission of untrue statements) are regarded as immoral and illegal, Jewish people regard a 'negative but true statement' made about another as ....
morally permissible
allowed if not on a Sabbath day
allowed if not on High Holy day
simply not allowed
The Hebrew term for forbidden speech about others, “lashon hara” (which means literally, "bad tongue"), refers to saying something that might be true but belittles the person about whom it is being said. So sharing the news that, for example, so-and-so eats like an animal, is promiscuous, or is regarded by their fellow workers as lazy, is not allowed, even if it might be true
According to the classic Code of Jewish Law, when a Jewish person is in the 7-day mourning period following the death of a spouse, parent or child ....
they should be accompanied by ten people at all times
they should dress in black
visitors to the house of mourning should always stand
concern for the mourner should be paramount
A visit to a house of mourning is not a straightforward social visit. The purpose is to show the mourner that one is concerned about his or her distress. If a close friend or relative, one should visit at least once during the period of mourning, and especially close people should take part in the prayers that are said either in the early morning or afternoon/evening
In Judaism, giving to charity is ....
a requirement
done at specific times of the year in tandem with Jewish festivals
left to the individual to decide as appropriate
only given to those with a direct need
In the Bible (the Old Testament and the Five Books of Moses), the word 'tzedakah', signifying charity, literally means 'righteous behaviour' and is often paired with 'justice'. However, in Jewish tradition and thinking, measurable support for those in need is not simply just giving to 'charity' - itself a term implying generosity beyond that which may be expected - but is actually a requirement
Hunting for sport by Jews is ....
expressly forbidden
allowed providing the animal is a predator only
allowed only if it is not a ‘staged’ hunt by, for example, a tour operator
allowed providing the hunt is not with a weapon that gives undue advantage to the hunter
Hunting for sport by Jews is unequivocally forbidden, and has, over the years, been strongly and publicly denounced by many important rabbis in communities throughout the world. The staging of animal fights for sport is also expressly forbidden. The Bible teaches Jews that the hunting of animals is something shameful
There is a Jewish Law in relation to business ‘freebies’, gifts or tips received in connection with work when working as an employee. Is it that it should be ....
given to the boss of the business
shared with colleagues
The law is that the employee can keep the freebie, but those who are strictly observant Orthodox Jews will always offer to share the freebie with their boss. However, if the employee knowingly accepts a freebie that is in essence a bribe rather than a gift (for example, three people offering the asking price on something where one presents a gift), this constitutes thievery
In Jewish Law, capital punishment (the death penalty) is ....
more of a principle than a practice
preferable to life imprisonment where a murder is committed
allowed only on a Sunday
only permissible if both transgression and judgement is carried out in the old city of Jerusalem
Jewish philosophers of old argued that the whole point of corporal punishment (lashings or beatings) was to serve as a reminder to the community as a whole of the severe nature of certain acts. This is why, in Jewish law, the death penalty is now more of a principle than a practice. According to the Talmud (the Jewish Book of the Law) capital punishment was effectively abolished some 2,000 years ago. As in all civilised societies, jail sentences, although themselves seen as a last resort, are the norm for those convicted of serious offences
On organ transplant, Judaism ....
in principle, supports the practice
does not allow it because a deceased Jewish person must be buried whole
only allows kidneys to be used
restricts donations to males
Although needing consultation with a competent authority (Rabbinical), Judaism very much supports and encourages organ donation when it saves lives. If an organ is needed for a specific, immediate transplant then it could actually be seen as a great honour for a Jew to donate to save a person's life. However, harvesting for an organ bank is not as acceptable
On the emotive issue of abortion, Judaism ....
allows it
does not allow it
does not forbid it, but it is not allowed on demand
allows it, but only with the permission of the Department of Health
Abortion is only allowed for genuine, medical-related reasons and has to include a consultation with a rabbi. Strict Orthodox Judaism permits abortion only in cases where continuing the pregnancy would put the mother's life in serious danger


Author:  Ed Moss

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