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What does Judaism say about human rights?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

Library » Miscellaneous » Government | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Question:

What is the Jewish perspective on Human Rights?

Answer:

The Torah doesn't speak of rights, only of responsibilities.

Through the Torah's responsibilities and obligations, human rights are protected. The difference is, that rights are self centered, and responsibilities are other centered. So the Ten Commandments, for example, prohibit murder, adultery, theft, lies and coveting. Those are responsibilities on you, but by default they protect others from you. This is conveyed not by telling you what you can expect, rather by telling you what is expected of you.

See also "Why should I believe in G-d?" and "What are Jewish ethics?"

   

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