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Jewish Guide

Jewish Values

The Jewish Guide will enlighten you on the importance of values and morals in the Jewish religion.

The Torah is the main sacred text that gives guidance on teachings and rules that must be followed by every Jew. The Torah teaches Jews how to conduct his/her life, how they must act in society, how to experience life and even death. Following the teachings of the Torah will guide Jews to lead a life of happiness and harmony by improving the relationships with the people around them, and this is believed to enable the concept of peace to the world. The values of Judaism are based on the teachings of the Torah:

  • 1. Kavod (Respect)

    Judaism teaches to treat ourselves as well as others with respect; even a stranger is to be treated with respect. Kavod is a feeling of regard for the rights, dignity, feelings, wishes and abilities of others.

  • 2. Shalom Bayit (Peace In The Home)

    Our schools, community centers, synagogues, youth groups, and camps are often our second homes. Everyone needs to feel comfortable, safe, welcomed, and respected in their home. Don't ostracize those who seem different. Strive to settle disagreements in peaceful and respectful manner that allows the community members to maintain their dignity.

  • 3. B'tzelem Elohim (In G_d's Image)

    The Torah tells us that we are all created 'B'tzelem Elohim' (Bereshit1:26), in the image of G_d. This is a profound idea that should guide our interactions with all people. We do not know the 'image of G_d' except that it is reflected in the different types of people we encounter in the world. If we can remember that each of us, no matter how different, is created in G_d's image, this idea can lead us to find the connection we have with one another and help create inclusive communities.

  • 4. Yisrael Arevim Zeh Bazeh (Community Responsibility)

    The Jewish principle that 'All Israel is responsible for one another' (Shavuot 39a) means that it is our responsibility to stand up for on another, especially for those who are vulnerable and cannot speak for themselves.

  • 5. Shmirat Halashon (Guarding Ones Use of Langauge)

    The Talmud warns us that we must take care in how we use language. Talking about others behind their backs, even if what we are saying is true, is prohibited. The guidelines for 'Shmirat Halashon' reminds us that what we say about others affects them in ways we may never predict. Words can hurt and heal depending on the way we use them.

  • 6. V'ahavtah L'Reiecha Kamocha (Love Your Neighbor As Yourself)

    This is commonly known as the 'foundational value of the Torah'. It begins with loving ourselves. We must love and accept ourselves, and in doing so we create the capacity for extending that love and acceptance to others.

  • 7. Al Tifrosh Min Hatsibur (Solidarity)

    'Don't separate yourself from the community' (Pirke Avot 2:5) When you feel different from others in your community, don't isolate yourself. Find someone who you can talk to. If you know someone who is feeling isolated, reach out and be a friend.