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Beyond Reasonable Doubt$
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Louis Jacobs

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774587

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774587.001.0001

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The Mitsvot: God-Given or Man-Made?

The Mitsvot: God-Given or Man-Made?

(p.106) Five The Mitsvot: God-Given or Man-Made?
Beyond Reasonable Doubt

Louis Jacobs

Liverpool University Press

This chapter highlights the ethical precepts of Judaism that present less of a problem than the purely ritual precepts in which human beings can understand and to which they respond of their own volition. It focuses on a question that is much discussed by religious thinkers that demands whether the good in the ethical sense is good because God wills it to be so, or rather whether God wills it to be so because it is good. The religious Jew, fundamentalist or non-fundamentalist, is not necessarily concerned with theological or historical niceties. A Jew acts out his Judaism within the context of the particular fraternity to which he belongs. The chapter also talks about a Hasid that shouts aloud the words of the Shema that will not only be tolerated but admired by his fellow-worshippers. A different, contemplative type of hasid may be lost in silent contemplation during a good part of the recitation of the Shema.

Keywords:   Judaism, religious thinker, religious Jew, fundamentalist, Hasid, Shema, fraternity

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