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Q&A

Which ethical teachings are unique to Judaism?

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Are there any ethical teachings found in the corpus of the written Torah which are unique to Judaism and are not found in other world religions current or past? If so, what are they?

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6 comments

To answer this question, one must have knowledge of all other religions ever practiced anywhere. I don't think anyone is so equipped. msh210‭ 10 months ago

@msh210 Google is :) Dani‭ 10 months ago

The written Torah is old enough that it's unlikely there are any teachings in it that have never been adopted/adapted by any younger religions. Isaac Moses‭ 10 months ago

@msh210 - or take a couple comparative religion courses withoutatrace‭ 10 months ago

I don't think that any search engine can account for every single teaching but I'm also not sure what counts as "ethical" teaching as opposed to a non-ethical one. rosends‭ 10 months ago

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Second attempt

I'm not equipped enough to say it's unique, but I would say that Shmita and Yovel are very uncommon.

Shmita - Every seven years, for a whole year, one may not preform agricultural actions at his field, and debts are canceled.

Yovel - Sold fields return to their original owners

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14 comments

Could you explain how shmittah is an ethical teaching? Just seems like good farming practice. Also, returning lands to their owners may be nice for the seller, but not necessarily for the buyer. robev‭ 9 months ago

The buyer should take it into consideration when paying the price, so no damage done to the buyer. Alaychem‭ 9 months ago

It is ethical teaching. First of all, there are the debt-forgiveness and other things that aren't about farming at all. Second, saying everyone has rights to the produce during Shemittah is a major change from the norm (both 6 years out of 7 and everywhere else) of "what's mine is mine". And finally, saying Shemittah is just about good farming practices is like saying "don't eat pork" is about trichinosis. manassehkatz‭ 9 months ago

Debts are cancelled after shmitta but land sales are only cancelled at yovel. AA ‭ 9 months ago

@manasseh none of the things you said are ethical teachings. AA ‭ 9 months ago

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