Law, Politics, and Morality in Judaism

By Michael Walzer | Go to book overview

7
Diversity, Tolerance, and Sovereignty

MENACHEM FISCH

LIKE ALL RELIGIONS of long standing, Judaism does not speak in one voice, and perhaps never did—certainly not on the issues under consideration. It is customary to distinguish three major streams or movements within contemporary Judaism in the West—Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform—each standing for a cascade of further divisions. The three movements differ primarily in their attitude to halakah, the code of Jewish law. Whereas Orthodox Jews accept halakah as the first place of reference and sole arbiter of authority, Conservative Judaism sees halakah as a crucial source of value holding “a vote, but not a veto” in determining personal behavior. Reform Judaism, by contrast, insists upon the primacy and ultimacy of personal autonomy in grounding religious norm and individual conscience. Although all three are, sociologically speaking, relatively recent developments, Orthodox communities alone boast full allegiance to a code they consider dating back to at least the talmudic era of late antiquity. This essay is written from an Orthodox point of view, from that of halakah as it is understood and practiced today by the majority of Orthodox Jews. I do so for three reasons. First, in being an Orthodox Jew myself I prefer to “report” from a perspective I feel I can speak for, and to deliberate questions that are real for me. Second, and more significant, bound by deep religious conviction to a strict and richly detailed system of ritual and social norms, Orthodox Jews are challenged far more seriously by problems of ethical diversity than their more liberally motivated Conservative and Reform coreligionists. Third, and for me most important, is the extremely potent reality of these problems for the state of Israel. Israel is unique in being the only modern society in which many observant, halakically committed Jews not only serve as municipal and parliamentary representatives of their communities but partake actively in executive extracommunal governmental roles. It is here that traditional Orthodox Judaism is swiftly and uneasily awakening to problems akin to those discussed in other communities. I say “akin to” because they are not identical. Problems of ethical diversity loom large in this context but do not always manifest themselves in questions of citizenship,

-96-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Law, Politics, and Morality in Judaism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Ethikon Series in Comparative Ethics ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Part I - Political Order and Civil Society 1
  • 1: Obligation 3
  • 2: Judaism and Civil Society 12
  • 3: Civil Society and Government 34
  • 4: Autonomy and Modernity 50
  • Part II - Territory, Sovereignty, and International Society 55
  • 5: Land and People 57
  • 6: Contested Boundaries 83
  • 7: Diversity, Tolerance, and Sovereignty 96
  • 8: Responses to Modernity 121
  • 9: Judaism and Cosmopolitanism 128
  • Part III - War and Peace 147
  • 10: Commanded and Permitted Wars 149
  • 11: Prohibited Wars 169
  • 12: Judaism and the Obligation to Die for the State 182
  • Contributors 209
  • Index 211
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 217

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.