Jewish Values

Jewish Values

By Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen

TORAH VALUES – The Key to a Happier Society

This fascinating series will discuss the commandments in the Torah that focus on our relationships with other people. Discussing both the laws and philosophy of these commandments, we will discover how the Torah’s teachings can still be highly relevant to the world we live in today. We will discuss how they can enable us to lead happier and more tranquil lives by improving our relationships with the people around us.

This course is presented by: Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen, a writer and educator in Jerusalem who has been teaching Torah there for many years. He has written extensively for the popular Hamodia newspaper.

The Inter-personal Commandments in Jewish Thought

If we were to ask any American citizen what values he believes are paramount to a moral society, his or her list will invariably include kindness, the value of life, education and peace. Yet, for thousands of years the great civilizations did not place great emphasis on these values by any means. For example, the most popular form of entertainment in Roman society consisted of viewing people maim and mutilate each other in the gladiatorial arena!

Society today is deeply influenced by what is known as Judeo-Christian ethics, which is essentially based on Torah principles. It was this unique book of instructions that introduced such fundamental concepts as, ‘love thy neighbor’ and ‘do not hate your brother in your heart.’ In ancient society there was no such thing as a desire for peace, the nations simply vied for power through military might. The Torah spread the concept of peace to the world to such an extent that The United Nations motto is a verse from Isaiah, calling for a society where people lay down their weapons and sworn enemies become friends.

The Torah is an instruction manual for life, it is a guide of how to have good relationships with others and to be moral and kind people. The Torah’s commandments are the means through which we can apply these values to our lives and thereby create a society with more happiness and harmony.

Love Thy Neighbor

Do Not Hate

Lashon Hara

Do Not Take Revenge or Bear a Grudge

Hurtful Words

Judging Fairly

Distance Yourself From Falsehood

Honoring Our Parents

Honoring Others

Visiting the Sick

Inviting Guests

Giving Joy to the Bride and Groom

Consoling Mourners

Do Not Stand Over Your Brother's Blood

Returning Lost Objects

Do Not Steal

Do Not Covet and Do Not Desire

Paying on Time

Geneivas Daas

Going Beyond the Letter of the Law

Walking In Hashem's Ways

Burying The Dead