Sunday, March 20, 2005

Denying G-d

According to Rabbi Akiva, a creditor and a debtor or people making business negotiations don't make or accept loans or make transactions except with legal documents and witnesses, and thus if somebody lies/ denies [the transaction], he lies/denies the [validity of] the documents and the witnesses. If someone makes a pledge/transaction to another in secret with no written documentation or witnesses and then lies/denies the pledge/transaction, that person denies G-d as who omnipresent and, therefore, a witness.

Rabbi Neal Joseph Loevinger cites Akiva in his parsha The Spirituality of Business Ethics describing that, in Judaism, there's no real distinction between ethics and spirituality. He goes on to state that how we treat others is a direct measure of our faith and how our faith must be manifest in our dealings with the world. In his commentary,
Reuven Kimmelman, extends this to indicate that humans have the power to make G-d immanent or transcendent through the morality of their behavior.

Being a good, moral person is not about being able to cite scripture, and it's certainly not using scripture as an excuse to deny others their rights or vilify them because they have different beliefs or priorities. The moral person that honors G-d does so by being honest in business, treating others with respect, and aiding others in an effort to decrease their suffering & assisting them in becoming self-sufficient. Now if only those "moralists" in our government understood this and acted on it.

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Mike Mansfield said...


DLW said...

I disagree that our telos should be to make each other suffer less and be more self-sufficient.


Ol Cranky said...

you think we should make each other suffer more and be less self-sufficient?

DLW said...

no, I don't think we should make each other suffer more. I am less certain about the self-sufficient part. I disagree about those being our primary end goals.