The Tzohar Center for Jewish Ethics was founded by the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization as a means to advance ethical practice for individuals and for the State of Israel. Tzohar’s worldview is based upon an understanding that the actions of the Jewish individual and the Jewish state must be guided by proper ethical behavior.
Avraham Avinu, the father of the Jewish people was defined by the Torah as a man of integrity who “acted in a path of justice and charity” (Bereishit, 18:19). This teaching inspired the path of Jewish learning through the ages; from the Torah to the Prophets and through Torah She B’al Peh (the oral tradition.) Throughout these texts, ethical practice is promoted as the highest ideal with integrity and kindness between human and fellow human being advanced as the path upon which we must live our lives.
But in order to live this “good and straight path” (Derekh Tov V’Yashar), we must first know what is good and straight? To take this a step further, we must ask what is the role of Judaism in creating an understanding of human ethics? Approaching these issues requires attention to basic human values that supersede religion or even legality; ideals such as “do unto others as you would want done unto you”. These values emerge from both religious teachings and universal understandings that are accepted by most civilized peoples around the globe and throughout the ages.
The Tzohar Center for Jewish Ethics is inspired by two primary objectives. The first is to establish a Jewish position on critical issues of ethical debate. Those positions are codified in academic papers and presentations and the overall highlighting of trends that define what is Jewish ethical practice.
The second goal of the Center is to ensure that these positions are not solely advanced on the academic and theoretical levels but are a voice in the decision-making process for private individuals as well as the top-level influencers like policy makers, jurists and legislators and government officials. All these parties will be encouraged to appreciate that ethical concerns must be addressed in how they conduct themselves and how they reach the decisions that will impact on the future of our state and its people.
The Center is committed to serving as a relevant and dynamic voice in Israeli society; through published papers and articles responding to contemporary issues, and through conferences and roundtable meetings in cooperation with other relevant professional and communal organizations and individuals.
This site is designed to present responses to a wide variety of contemporary issues relevant to the discussion of Jewish ethics. The site will be regularly updated to address new topics and we encourage you to propose issues for discussion as well as to use the site as a portal to ask questions of our Tzohar rabbis.
Is It Ethical?
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