Re: Jewish ethical wisdom - Where Do We Go From Here?
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Re: Jewish ethical wisdom - Where Do We Go From Here?

July 31, 2018 09:37PM
Rabbi Knopf's wise, superb post about Jewish ethics is a most welcome contribution, but I do not agree with every word of it.

He writes "commitment to learning Torah and keeping halakha is not enough to cultivate the character refinement...a preoccupation with technical halakhic compliance often overshadows other essential features of moral life."

I agree with Rav Kook that halacha supplements rather than replaces natural morality, and that Torah teaches broad ethical concepts in addition to specific halachot. But I think halacha is undersold in R. Knopf's presentation. Halachic ethics are quite demanding and people with poor character traits are in fact not keeping halacha, as the musar movement pointed out. Midot are, if not themselves halacha, at least prerequisites to its implementation. In most cases the problem is not pan-halachicism but an emphasis on bein adam l'makom at the expense of bein adam l'chavero.

There is also room to question R. Knopf's description of Orthodoxy as strong in halacha but weak in natural ethics. It depends on which community we are talking about. In many places it is the other way around.
Subject Author Posted

Jewish ethical wisdom - Where Do We Go From Here?

Anthony Knopf July 31, 2018 09:34PM

Re: Jewish ethical wisdom - Where Do We Go From Here?

Shmuel Silberman July 31, 2018 09:37PM

Re: Jewish ethical wisdom - Where Do We Go From Here?

Daniel Rothner July 31, 2018 09:42PM

Re: Jewish ethical wisdom - Where Do We Go From Here?

Barry Kislowicz July 31, 2018 09:46PM

Re: Jewish ethical wisdom - Where Do We Go From Here?

Norman Meskin July 31, 2018 09:51PM

Re: Jewish ethical wisdom - Where Do We Go From Here?

Seymour Epstein August 02, 2018 02:21AM

Re: Jewish ethical wisdom - Where Do We Go From Here?

Anthony Knopf August 03, 2018 12:13AM



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