Human Dignity and the Jewish Tradition
28 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2013
Date Written: July 1, 2008
This paper demonstrates how central human dignity (kvod habriot in Hebrew) is to Jewish law. What is especially interesting is how a theistic religion in which love and fear of God is paramount, does not minimize the importance of human dignity. In many cases, human dignity trumps even divine law. This paper demonstrates how laws dealing with cheating spouses, the Sabbath, abortion, ritual purity, mourning, and treating debtors are all affected by the importance of human dignity. Indeed, the effects on human dignity must be considered in virtually all halachic (Jewish law) decisions.
Keywords: human dignity, ethics, kvod habriot, Jewish law
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