To Do Right & Good

Overview

Rabbi Dorff focuses on the social aspects of the Jewish tradition, while tackling such timely topics as poverty, war, intrafaith and interfaith relations, and forgiveness. In addition, he discusses Jewish social ethics as they both relate to and contrast with Christian and American belief systems in modern society. Dorff argues that Jewish sources, when properly placed within the framework of the realities of our own times, can provide important guidance for Jews on how to act ...
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Overview

Rabbi Dorff focuses on the social aspects of the Jewish tradition, while tackling such timely topics as poverty, war, intrafaith and interfaith relations, and forgiveness. In addition, he discusses Jewish social ethics as they both relate to and contrast with Christian and American belief systems in modern society. Dorff argues that Jewish sources, when properly placed within the framework of the realities of our own times, can provide important guidance for Jews on how to act in their daily lives.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780827607156
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication date: 6/28/2002
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 Fundamental Beliefs That Guide Jewish Social Ethics 1
The Central Stories of Jews, Christians, and Americans 3
The Nature of the Individual 5
The Nature of the Community 16
The Goals of Human Existence 26
Reprise: The Fundamental Concepts As Articulated in the Central Stories 32
Ch. 2 Pluralism within the Jewish Community 36
Rabbinic Approaches to Diversity 37
Modern Approaches to Diversity 44
The Need for Unity with Diversity 60
Ch. 3 "A People Apart": A Jewish Theology of Jewish Relations to Other Peoples 61
Jewish Identity Defined by the Jewish Covenant with God 61
Idolaters and Monotheists 66
Nationalism and Universalism in the Traditional Concept of the Covenant 68
Historical, Epistemological, and Theological Groundwork for Jews' Relations to Other Religions 73
Reciprocal Christian and Muslim Recognition of the Theological Validity of Judaism 84
A Realistic but Open Model of the Covenant for Our Times 90
Ch. 4 The King's Torah: Judaism and National Policy 96
The Historical Relationship of Jews to the State 96
Arguments for Separation of Church and State 99
Coherence and Continuity amid Freedom and Diversity 101
Areas of Moral Disagreement 105
Justifying This Approach Philosophically and Theologically 108
Bringing Religion and Nation Closer Together 112
Ch. 5 Procedural Justice: Making a Fair Decision 114
Procedural and Substantive Justice 114
Aspiring to Be Holy: Beyond the Letter of the Law 117
Arbitration and Mediation 118
God's Justice 122
Justice and Love 124
Ch. 6 Substantive Justice: A Jewish Approach to Poverty 126
Jewish Value Concepts Relevant to Concern for the Poor 128
Jewish Poverty Programs 138
Translating from Then to Now 150
Insights from the Tradition for Contemporary Thought and Action 155
An Ongoing Challenge 159
Ch. 7 "A Time for War and a Time for Peace": The Ethics of War and International Intervention 161
Political and Economic Intervention 164
Obligatory and Discretionary Wars 165
Defensive Wars 168
Procedures for Waging War 171
Preemptive Wars for Defense 172
Military Intervention for Other Reasons 174
Deterrents to Military Intervention 178
From Theory to Practice 180
Ch. 8 Communal Forgiveness 184
The Issue 184
God's Forgiveness of Individual Jews and the People Israel 188
Human Forgiveness of Individuals 188
God's Forgiveness of Nations 191
Human Versus Divine Forgiveness of Nations 193
The Proper Parties for Forgiveness and Regret 194
The Possibility of Forgiveness As Part of an Ontological Reality 196
An Argument against Forgiveness Granted by Descendants 200
Precedents for Reconciliation 202
Whether to Forgive 203
The Bottom Line 210
Notes 213
App. A The Right in Contrast to the Good 241
App. B Comparative Ways for Identifying the Moral Course of Action 262
Notes to App. A 283
Notes to App. B 286
Bibliography of Cited Modern Sources 288
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