Universal Ethics

Seven Laws for a Beautiful Planet
The Noahide Tradition
An ancient set of universal laws might as well have been designed for the 21st century.
Discovery of Planet Earth
On the seven universal laws of life
There are 70 families with 70 paths within the great Family of Man. And each individual has his or her path within a path. Yet, there is one universal basis for us all...
How the Science of Racism Led to the Holocaust
The war against the divine image in man
Can the world survive on ethics devised by human reason? Well, we tried. It’s called the 20th century.
America’s White Militant Neo-Antisemitism
What Are Its Causes and How Can We Defeat It?
The only way to actually reduce antisemitism is to deal with it at its core.
MLK and the March on Washington
Why some dreams come true
Why did he succeed? Because all that Dr. King spoke was rooted deep in the soil of the American consciousness.
Do We Have the Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?
Are human rights a divine endowment? Is there a biblical verse that promises mankind the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
What Does the Torah Say About Obamacare?
The issue is the individual’s responsibility to care for the body with which G‑d entrusted him, and not to be a burden to his community.
A Torah Perspective on National Borders and Illegal Immigration
When approaching a topic as sensitive as immigration, it is important to keep in mind that policies cannot be based solely on emotion. There must be some criteria by which we can confidently evaluate positions and give a thoughtful, critical response. The Torah offers us just such a set of criteria, based on its integrated view that every human choice is cosmically significant.
What is Morality?
Kant was certainly correct when he said that the essence of a moral judgment is that it is categorical. That, however, is not the end of the problem of understanding the basis of morality. In fact, it is just the beginning of the problem
Where Do Ethics Come From?
Should we clone people? Is there such a thing as a life not worth living? When is it correct to go to war? But the real question is: on what biases do we answer these ethical dilemmas?
Morality: A Catch-22?
If Moral Relativism leads to chaos and Moral Absolutism to tyranny, what's left?
Nothing Really Matters
A "Moment of Silence" to start the schoolday
The need for a "moment of silence" to give context and meaning to the school day; a time for our children to reflect on the 'why' of their learning, rather than just the how
Are All Believers Insane?
And can we live without them?
Hi, my name is Rabbi Tzvi Freeman. I am the person your professor warned you about. Why? Because I believe first and prove afterwards.
Can There Be Morality Without G‑d?
Is it possible to have a moral society while leaving G‑d out of the equation?
A Lesson from a Robot
The line between creator and creation has gotten blurrier lately, thanks to sophisticated robots that are smart enough to invent technologies of their own. Who has the right to patent these cybersolutions, the inventor of the robot, or the robot itself?
When Heaven is Evil
You can have two religions or five or fifty and it's okay. Pray on a carpet, on your knees, standing up. Whatever. But when it comes to morality there is only one G-d
Is Prisoner Exchange A Jewish Value?
Judaism’s take on redeeming prisoners
Redeeming captives is nothing new for Jews. What does our past experience and the decisions of our sages have to teach us about prisoner exchanges today?
How Do You Treat Animals?
I can’t understand how “Do not eat the limb of a living animal” would be in the top seven most important things for all humanity to observe.
Should a Jewish State Have an Army?
Isn't it un-Jewish to kill people? How would Judaism apply the law from the Ten Commandments, "You shall not kill" in modern Israel?
Does Torah Promote Genocide?
Why does the Torah command us to annihilate the seven Canaanite nations? Why would G‑d put the everlasting guilt of wiping out entire communities upon any group of people, especially those he favors? If there were populations that were so evil, why wouldn't He take care of it Himself?
How Does G-d Decide What's Right and What's Wrong?
Are good things G-dly or are G-dly things good? What would the Chassidic masters say of the Socrates- Euthyphro debate?
How Do You Fight Evil?
Should we combat it? Ignore it? Is it possible to do both?
Should I Pray for the Death of Terrorists?
The murder of others, even if they are the oppressors, seemingly amounts to a glorification of war... Prayer, I am told, is an act of enlightenment. Am I to pray for the brutal demise of the enemy?
Does Religion Cause War?
There are a number of ways of approaching the issue. Let us try a scientific approach
Who Needs Religion, if It's the Cause of So Much Violence?
Since all the wars of history were caused by religion, wouldn't the world be better off without it?
How Can I Live Without Causing Harm?
With every dollar we spend, we relinquish control of the ethical direction of our money. Taxes on profit will buy bullets, fund factory farming, etc. The only solution seems a self-sustained collective...
Can a Person Be
Is it better to keep Shabbat and eat only kosher but be unkind and dishonest, or to be a good person who is not as observant?
Did Human Rights Begin With Torah?
Democracy and human rights are cornerstones of our moral vision in the modern era. Where do we Jews fit--historically and ideologically--into this picture?
Torah, Slavery and the Jews
Yes, there's tension here, and as every good dramatist and massage therapist knows, tension is a good point to play with
Legislating Moral Conduct
I recently attended a seminar on the Canadian Human Rights Commissions. On the whole, the event amounted to a wholesale "Let's Quash the Human Rights Commissions" extravaganza...
Incarceration As a Modality of Punishment and Rehabilitation
A Torah Perspective
Under America’s criminal justice system, we have incarcerated more than two million of our fellow citizens in federal, state and county facilities. In contrast, the concept of prison does not appear anywhere in Judaism...
Not an activity for human beings
G‑d created you with intelligence in order that it should be used to build the world. But you have used G‑d’s gift to learn to damage and destroy.
10 Facts to Know About War and Judaism
Some wars were Divinely ordained, for reasons known to G-d alone. Others were necessary for self-defense or other purposes. The ultimate goal, however, is for the world to be at peace.
Is Judaism Socialist or Capitalist?
What exactly is our ideal society?
A Sociologist’s Fresh Take on the Rebbe’s Vision
Book Review: Social Vision: The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Transformative Paradigm for the World, by Philip Wexler with Eli Rubin and Michael Wexler
The Etzem: How Each of Us Contains All of Us
A Chabad Mindbender of Burning Relevance