Jewish Law Vs Islamic Law Vs Christian Law

On his radio show today, Dennis Prager says: Sharia is Islamic religious law. Jews have an analogue — halakha. Christianity does not have an all-embracing law that governs everything you do.

There was a time in Jewish history when Jews sought a halakhic state. Now the vast majority of religious Jews have made peace with the fact that halakha is a personal matter and only in a few issues in Israel would it matter for state policy. For example, do you serve kosher food on El Al airlines? The IDF in Israel does serve kosher food.

A major difference is that Judaism, at its most, has only believed in a halakhic state for Jews. There was never a notion that the non-Jew anywhere else in the world is obliged to halakha (and only in Israel in a few areas in a utopian scheme of things). The concept is unknown.

For Muslims, that is a different story. The desire to have all of humanity governed by sharia is a fundamental Muslim goal. Christians would like the world Christian but it doesn’t come with any Christian law as such. People’s faith and hearts might be changed but there is no religious body of law governing all of life.

There are many aspects of sharia that are morally troubling. Wherever Islam has been put into practice by a state, there are sharia practices that are immoral such as the couple just stoned in Iran or the banning of women driving in Saudi Arabia.

It may not be driving. It might be holding hands in public or wearing a skirt near the knee.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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