- For our wives
- Introduction: Why Study Jewish Ethics?
- Ethical Theory and Practice in the Hebrew Bible
- Ethical Theories in Rabbinic Literature
- Ethical Theories in Jewish Mystical Writings
- Ethical Theories among Medieval Jewish Philosophers
- Spinoza and Jewish Ethics
- Mussar Ethics and Other Nineteenth-Century Jewish Ethical Theories
- Ethical Theories of Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, and Martin Buber
- Ethical Theories of Mordecai Kaplan and Abraham Joshua Heschel
- Ethical Theories of Abraham Isaac Kook and Joseph B. Soloveitchik
- Ethical Implications of the Holocaust
- Ethical Theories in the Reform Movement
- Ethical Theories in the Conservative Movement
- Ethical Theories in the Orthodox Movement
- Ethical Theories in the Reconstructionist Movement
- Feminist Jewish Ethical Theories
- Postmodern Jewish Ethical Theories
- Jewish Bioethics: The Beginning of Life
- Jewish Bioethics: The End of Life
- Jewish Bioethics: The Distribution of Health Care
- Jewish Bioethics: Current and Future Issues in Genetics
- Jewish Business Ethics
- Jewish Sexual Ethics
- Jewish Environmental Ethics: Intertwining Adam with Adamah
- Jewish Animal Ethics
- Jewish Ethics of Speech
- Jewish Political Ethics in America
- Jewish Political Ethics in Israel
- Judaism and Criminal Justice
- Jewish Ethics and War
- BIBLICAL SOURCES: RABBINIC AND SELECTED MEDIEVAL CITATIONS
- SUBJECT INDEX
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter reviews ethical concepts in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh). Fear of God (yir'at Elohim) is perhaps the most pervasive and powerful notion inspiring social concern and behaviour. The Bible contains multiple ways to motivate people to do what is right and good—ways that are championed by later contributors to Jewish ethical theories. The chapter discusses motivations for ethical behaviour in the Torah; the prophets' views on ethics; works within the “Writings” (Ketuvim) section of the Hebrew Bible; outlooks on human nature and free will; and universal standards for ethical behaviour.
Elaine Adler Goodfriend is a lecturer in Hebrew Bible and Jewish History at California State University, Northridge, and Loyola Marymount College. She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and a B.A. in Semitic Languages and Literature from Cornell University. Her publications can be found in Anchor Bible Dictionary, Women’s Commentary on the Torah, Women in Scripture: A Dictionary of Named and Unnamed Women in the Hebrew Bible, Apocrypha, and New Testament, and Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.