- For our wives
- Introduction: Why Study Jewish Ethics?
- Jewish Ethical Theories
- 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
- Topics in Jewish Morals
- 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 examines Jewish political ethics as it has emerged in the American setting. Unlike virtually all the places where Jews have lived throughout history, American Jews are full-fledged citizens, and some have taken leadership roles in both local and national politics, to say nothing of the professions, academia, and business. Four different approaches that Jews have taken to respond to this new reality are described: (1) Jews should participate in American politics in service of Jewish self-interest; (2) political participation replaces religion; (3) the United States is a step in the march toward messianic redemption; and (4) Jews should involve themselves in American politics, as Jews, for the betterment of all. The chapter describes each of these positions, quotes some representative spokespersons for each, and shows how each has influenced Jewish political ethics in America, and then illustrates how varying Jewish prayers for the nation articulate each of these approaches.
Jill Jacobs is the Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights–North America. She is the author of Where Justice Dwells: A Hands-On Guide to Doing Social Justice in Your Jewish Community (2011) and There Shall Be No Needy: Pursuing Social Justice through Jewish Law and Tradition (2009). She has taught about Judaism and social justice throughout North America and around the world. Her writings on issues of housing, labor, and health care from a Jewish perspective have appeared in more than two dozen magazines, journals, and anthologies. Rabbi Jacobs has been named to The Jewish Daily Forward’s list of fifty influential American Jews (2006, 2008), Newsweek’s list of the fifty most influential rabbis in America (2009, 2010, 2011), The Jewish Week’s first list of “36 under 36” (2008), and the Forward’s list of the fifty most influential women rabbis (2010). Rabbi Jacobs received rabbinic ordination and an M.A. in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she was a Wexner fellow. She also holds an M.S. in Urban Affairs from Hunter College and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.
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