Questions tagged [morality]

Also, ethics. Questions regarding the view(s) of Judaism about the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior, particularly with emphasis on moral philosophy including moral ontology, or the origin of morals, as well as moral epistemology, or what is known about morals.

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Is it considered a good thing that Lot's daughters slept with their father?

In Bereishis 19:30-38 the story is told how the 2 daughters of Lot thought (for whatever reason) that they should sleep with their father. From the psukim themselves, it is unclear whether or not what ...
Gavriel's user avatar
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13 votes
6 answers

When is it moral to line up and kill thousands of little girls? A question on the Torah's morality

I am bothered by an incident in the Torah that seems morally unacceptable. After the incident with Pinchas, the Torah records that Klal Yisroel were commanded to attack Midian to avenge their attempt ...
Natan Stern's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers

May one choose the recipient of his/her organ donation?

I have decided to donate a kidney. I know that with organizations like Renewal you can choose to donate to someone specifically. I was wondering if it is mutar to browse potential recipients and see ...
eliyahu's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers

What defines a person who is circumcised "of the heart"?

Circumcisions of the heart are a topic which I've seen mentioned a couple of times but never really delved into. While the word circumcision is used to describe it, the mark cannot be equated to true ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer

When one is diagnosed with a terminal disease, is refusing treatment a form of suicide or acceptable considering the circumstances?

People are diagnosed with terminal illnesses on a regular basis. Many times a person refuses to undergo treatment because they don't wish to experience the pain and exhaustion that would entail. While ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 935
4 votes
2 answers

Morality before Sinai

If Torah is the source of morality, defining what is right and wrong, then Pre-Matan Torah, pre-Sinai, what form of moral objectivity existed?
El Shteiger's user avatar
  • 2,970
3 votes
3 answers

Can Morality Exist Without Divine Basis?

A common theistic claim is that atheism has no basis for morality, and that a basic morality must be determined by God for it to exist. There are instances in secular fields such as Biological ...
Baby Seal's user avatar
  • 8,210
3 votes
4 answers

Where does the sense of morality come from?

Where does our sense of morality which impels us to right conduct come from? Is it something internal to us, or perhaps it is external to us? Is it physical or spiritual, etc. For example, does our ...
ray's user avatar
  • 21.1k
2 votes
1 answer

Responsa/Rabbinic Thought on Israeli Reprisal Operations

During the 1950s and 60s, the IDF carried out what have become known as "reprisal operations" against Arab villages. Some of the operations, especially Operation Kibya, were condemned on the ...
Bochur613's user avatar
  • 4,647
2 votes
3 answers

Does Pirkei Avot establish we can find morality separately from the law? [duplicate]

One of the more notable things about Pirkei Avot is that it's empty of Halacha for the most part. It establishes a series of ethical ideals and opinions written by our sages but these ethics and ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer

Could this passage have any relevance to artificial intelligence?

I've seen numerous different discussions online about how to handle artificial intelligence with regards to moral laws. How should we, as orthodox Jews, dispatch of these problems? I turn to this law ...
Evan Carroll's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers

How to understand Yoseph's seemingly cruel actions?

It seems that Yoseph completely changed the system of government from one where citizens had land rights and minimal taxes to one where the right to property was taken away and 20% tax. He basically ...
Yitzchok Ginzberg's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers

"Kofin al midas Sedom" - what are the parameters of this concept?

The gemara in Bava Basra 12 discusses the splitting of a field in an equitable manner such that one of the individuals receives an additional personal benefit due to some external circumstance (having ...
Isaac Kotlicky's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer

Teaching Jewish morals/ethics to children: books and other aids

Looking for books with ethical and moral dilemnas (scenarios) that can serve as starting points for discussions with kids 7 year old and older to explore Jewish moral and ethical values and laws. Not ...
Yehuda W's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer

How has our attitude changed toward the relationship of morality to Torah observance? [closed]

I have often noticed, in my interactions with other Orthodox Jews, that they seem to feel that the correct resolution of every moral question is to ask a prominent rabbi. For example, when I point out ...
Chaim's user avatar
  • 2,217
1 vote
2 answers

What's the deal with moral relativism?

I have heard and read from kiruv books, outreach speakers, pamphlets etc. that Orthodox Judaism doesn't like "Moral Relativism" (the position that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect ...
Clint Eastwood's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers

Torah Laws to fit Ancient Societal Values?

I've heard many times the argument that many Torah Laws and sanctioned behaviors (such as slavery, killing entire enemy nation, marrying a rape victim, etc.) are to be understood (in an ethical sense) ...
Nochie Wolf's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers

Does the Torah prohibit men from shaking women hands? [duplicate]

My friend is devoutly Jewish and when he met my family, he shaked hands with all members of my family, accept for my mother and sister, claiming that both Judaism and the Torah prohibit men from ...
Connor David Jones's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers

What is the source for the omnisignificance of Torah [duplicate]

In his book, The Idea of Biblical Poetry: Parallelism and Its History professor James Kugel discusses the idea that each and every word (letter?) in the Torah posses significant meaning (pp. 104-105), ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers

Why were Adam and Hava punished? [duplicate]

Since Adam and Hava didn't know what was right and wrong until after they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, why were they punished for eating from it? They couldn't have known it was ...
user13652's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers

How Bad Is Bullying in Judaism? [closed]

Say there is another Jew who is being a bully, a mean person or just plain spiteful and angrily argumentative... I read that harmful or useless speech is a more serious sin than murder yet we all do ...
Rebecca Burns's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers

What seforim or books were written on the Torah approach to modern-day philosophy such as humanism or classical liberalism?

Although I have seen paragraphs here and there in various books explaining the torah hashkafa on specific values (i.e. Rav Kook, Rav Illowy, Lord Sacks on slavery), I have yet to seen a book that ...
J G's user avatar
  • 69
0 votes
1 answer

Is it mandated that a gentile get stoned for having strived to understand the Noahide laws in the way and with the intent explained below?

For Noahides to understand the Noahide laws effectively and to understand what is the ideal and right way to take as a non-Jew not converted, it is necessary for him to study more than just the list ...
tafeadogo's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers

Where does "animal morality" come from?

The Gemmorah teaches us that we could learn basic morality from the animal kingdom (Eruvin.100b.29, see also 28): אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן: אִילְמָלֵא לֹא נִיתְּנָה תּוֹרָה, הָיִינוּ לְמֵידִין צְנִיעוּת ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers

Source for non-immorality in Egypt

I heard a shiur recently, that quoted a gemara to the effect that the Jews in Egypt where not immoral. Where is this gemara, or gemeras that talk of this?
Yosef Warren's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers

If we think of evil as the absence of good, then how should we understand sheidim/evil spirits/demons?

Many Jewish commentators such as Rambam (Moreh Nevuchim 3:10 explains that evil doesn't have a reality of its own, but is merely a privation of good) thought that evil was merely the absence of good ...
setszu's user avatar
  • 805
0 votes
1 answer

Explanation of this verse in Psalm 137

אַשְׁרֵ֤י שֶׁיֹּאחֵ֓ז וְנִפֵּ֬ץ אֶֽת־עֹ֝לָלַ֗יִךְ אֶל־הַסָּֽלַע׃ A blessing on him who seizes your babies and dashes them against the rocks! Psalms 137:9 This verse doesn't sit well with me... Is ...
Shababnik's user avatar
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