Sunday, March 16, 2014

Quotes from my Forthcoming Book

The foundation of Jewish ethics is, and has always been, Mosaic Law; and the main thing to be kept in mind here is that human life is sacred, because man is created in God’s image. Rabbinic Judaism rejects the dichotomy between body-soul, as well as the good-evil paradigm—this is the main distinction between Christianity and Judaism. It follows that the Jews would reject asceticism in any form—bodily mortification, fasting, monasticism etc. It follows, also, that any rigid form of abstinence—particularly celibacy—would be rejected. Abstaining from wine, or meat, or sex, or any worldly pleasure, is to be seen as a rejection of God’s gifts; the clear message here is everything in moderation. This seems to me a healthy survival attitude on many levels and for many reasons. One reason is obvious: celibacy and monasticism don’t tend help in the perpetuation of the species.