1. On what grounds can we equate withholding wages with taking a life?
2. Is taking a person's life equivalent to murder? What is the meaning of this phrase here?
1. If God is the decider of wealth, for what reason does R. Meir say that everyone must know a trade?
2. If all wealth is God's, how are we meant to relate to our stuff?
|“The children of Israel are [God's] servants and not servants to servants." [Translation by Rabbi Jill Jacobs]||
ויקרא כ"ה: כי לי בני ישראל עבדים, ולא עבדים לעבדים.
1. What do you think the difference is between being a servant to God and a servant to a servant?
2. What does it mean to be a servant to God?
3. How does this text affect your thinking about workers' rights?
1. How does the author of this text try to mandate a law that is not measurable?
2. What power dynamics are at play?
|Rabbi Tarfon and some elders were reclining in an upper chamber in the house of Nitza in Lod when this question came up: Which is greater, study or action? Rabbi Tarfon spoke up and said: Action is greater. Rabbi Akiva spoke up and said: Study is greater. The others then spoke up and said: Study is greater because it leads to action. [Soncino translation]||
וכבר היה רבי טרפון וזקנים מסובין בעלית בית נתזה בלוד, נשאלה שאילה זו בפניהם: תלמוד גדול או מעשה גדול? נענה רבי טרפון ואמר: מעשה גדול, נענה ר"ע ואמר: תלמוד גדול, נענו כולם ואמרו: תלמוד גדול, שהתלמוד מביא לידי מעשה.
1. Which of these actions is ultimately the most important? Why?
2. What "action" is being discussed here?
3. How does this text relate to Jewish social justice?
4. How does this text relate to education and sustainable livelihood?