Ethics and Values | Reconstructing Judaism

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Ethics and Values

Ethics and Values

Jewish tradition is imbued with values that bear on every important decision we face. What are my obligations to my community? How should I handle charitable giving in a world overwhelmed by human need?  How do I navigate decisions on issues ranging from sexual ethics and gender identity to end-of-life decisions? The Reconstructionist movement has developed an approach to Jewish values-based decision-making for those Jews who do not see themselves as bound by halakha (traditional Jewish law), but want to live lives of integrity and spiritual meaning. 

More on Ethics and Values

News and Blogs

Let's Journey Together

In an essay that appeared in Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., makes the case that Reconstructionist Judaism matters now more than ever.

News

"Being Abba": A Civilization Text Study on Fatherhood

In this text study, Rabbi James Greene examines the evolution of Jewish ideas of fatherhood over time, with an eye toward contemporary responsibilities of Jewish fathering.

Document
News and Blogs

Does The Torah Require Us To Publicize Names Of Sexual Abusers?

What does Judaism teach us about how to respond to accusations of harassment or assault?

News
News and Blogs

Reconstructionist Movement Updates

Though we count time Jewishly, by any consideration the secular year 2018 is an exciting year for the Reconstructionist movement.

News

Hagar the Stranger

To love the stranger represents an outrageous leap out of the typical moral economy, in which we do kindnesses and expect to be repaid in kind. In loving the stranger, we transcend self-interest.

Sermon

Amidah for Peace, Justice and Immigration

This alternative Amidah was used during mincha prayers by members of the Reconstructionist Rabbinic Association outside of an Immigration Processing Center in order to call attention to the plight of immigrants and underscore the importance of the Jewish obligation to welcome the stranger. 

Article

psalm 79: pour out your love

Rabbi Brant Rosen’s poem responds to Psalm 79, challenging us to welcome the stranger even, and especially, in uncomfortable ways.

Article

Hagar: The Immigrant Worker

This provocative Rosh Hashanah sermon draws parallels between Hagar, Sarah’s mistreated servant, and today’s immigrant workers.

Sermon

The Book of Ruth: A Torah of Lovingkindness in the Face of Death

Rabbi David Gedzelman explores the Book of Ruth with an eye toward structures of covenantal openness, societal protection and compassion towards the other.

Spoken Audio

Judaism and Journalistic Ethics - Video with Transcript

Video and transcript of conversation on journalistic ethics and Jewish values

Video

Jewish Tradition and Journalistic Ethics Audio

Rabbi David Teutsch, Ph.D., discusses the role of the free press in the Jewish community and American society, and what Jewish values can teach us about journalistic ethics.

Spoken Audio
News and Blogs

Jewish Values and Journalistic Ethics

Rabbi David Teutsch, Ph.D., discusses the role of the free press in the Jewish community and American society, and what Jewish values can teach us about journalistic ethics.

News
News and Blogs

Each of us can work to preserve dignity in the public square

[Our religious traditions] all believe in the importance of these values: speaking the truth, the sanctity of human life, and the obligation to treat every person with dignity.

News

Love, Enemies and Evil: Beshalakh Text Study

  In this text study for Parashat Beshalakh, Rabbi Toba Spitzer examines the fate of the Egyptians at the Red Sea and our tradition’s ethical sensitivity to their plight.

Document

Author Interview: Guide to Jewish Practice

Interview with Rabbi David Teutsch, Ph.D., about the issues addressed in the new Guide to Jewish Practice

Article