A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson

By Paul Johnson

A countrywide bestseller, this fabulous 4000 12 months survey covers not just Jewish background yet he effect of Jewish genius and mind's eye at the global. by means of the writer of Modern instances: the area From the Twenties to the Eighties.

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He resumes to say generally that one should do the good and the right in all matters, to the point that there are included in this compromise, lifnim mishurat hadin, and the like ... so that he is regarded as perfect and right in all matters. The point of Nachmal1ides' comment is that "acting beyond the line of the law" is itself a divine commandment, just like the specific laws that one fInds enumerated in the Torah. It is not mentioned explicitly in Scripture simply because it could not be, for it refers to the general principle of acting righteously, a principle whose specific applications are far too numerous to be spelled out fully in Scripture.

A second, radically different view is represented by those authorities who interpret lifoim mishurat hadin as a fully enforceable legal standard, that is, as part and parcel of the din or halakha. " And our rabbis have a fine interpretation of this. " The intent of this is that, initially, He had said that you should observe the laws and statutes which He had commanded you. Now He says that, with respect to what He has not commanded, you should 36 Law, Virtue, and Supererogation in the Halakhil likewise take heed to do the good and the right in His eyes, for He loves the good and the right.

In Elon's words, Before us therefore is an example of a norm which in its origin was solely a moral-religious sanction, but became over time under certain conditions a full legal norm which was actionable in a court oflaw. 29 Elon cites a variety of later rabbinic sources that held actions of this sort to be legal duties in the fullest sense and which therefore carried legal sanctions when these norms were violated. But while this seems to have been the dominant view during the medieval period, he notes that other authorities conceived such actions as expressions of special piety.

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