What Would The Talmud Do?

From Time.com:

Would the current financial crisis have been avoided if traders followed Jewish traditions embodied in the Bible and the Talmud? Two scholars from the Conservative and Orthodox branches of the Judaism are suggesting just that. They also conclude that the tradition prescribes significant regulation to begin to redress the debacle.

That may not be so exotic as it sounds. Every theology has a subdivision for business ethics, but Judaism’s is especially complete. It is said that more of the 613 commandments in the Jewish bible deal with keeping one’s money kosher (or "fit") than pertain to one’s food; and the business literature springing from that concern may be the longest and most continuous in the world.

In an article to appear shortly in a book from Oxford University Press, Aaron Levine, chair of the economics department at a respected New York college opens with the assertion: "The current downturn is the first post World War II recession that has its roots in widespread moral failure." It’s an interesting, if debatable contention, but equally interesting is the authorities Levine cites as he makes his argument: the Jewish torah, the mishna (transcribed oral law), talmud, the work of medieval jurists like Maimonides, and host of rabbinical opinions (responsas) ever since. Levine is an Orthodox rabbi as well as a prof, and his institution is Yeshiva University. The book is titled Judaism and Economics; and his article’s title is "The Recession of 2008: The Moral Factor — A Jewish Law Analysis."

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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