What are the contributions of Judaism to society?

User Avatar
Wiki User
2017-07-19 05:49:22

1st monotheistic religion

other religions stemmed from it (Christianity and Islam)

Other religions read portions of the Jewish sacred texts

  • Answer 2:

Judaism has contributed:

1. monotheism

2. the concept of individual rights

3. public education

4. ethical treatment of animals

5. the concept of a day of rest from work

6. the idea that all countries should have just and ethical laws

and judicial systems

7. the concept that there should be a limitation of punishment

for crimes committed

There are many more contributions.

  • Answer 3


"I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize men than

any other nation ... fate had ordained the Jews to be the most

essential instrument for civilizing the nations" (John Adams, 2nd

President of the United States).

"Certainly, the world without the Jews would have been a radically

different place. Humanity might have eventually stumbled upon all

the Jewish insights, but we cannot be sure. All the great

conceptual discoveries of the human intellect seem obvious and

inescapable once they had been revealed, but it requires a special

genius to formulate them for the first time. The Jews had this

gift. To them we owe the idea of equality before the law, both

Divine and human; of the sanctity of life and the dignity of human

person; of the individual conscience and of collective conscience,

and social responsibility" (Paul Johnson, Christian historian,

author of A History of the Jews and A History of Christianity).

User Avatar
Wiki User
2017-01-07 18:22:18

The long, rich history of Judaism gives the Western world much

of its shape today. Many of the laws, traditions, culture and

values are directly attributable to Judaism.


target="_blank">Link: History of Judaism

  • The Jews' monotheistic religious tradition (Deuteronomy 6:4)

    shaped the Western beliefs about God.


target="_blank">Link: Monotheistic religious tradition

  • The 7-day week (Exodus ch.20), including a day of rest for

    everyone. This weekly rest was a concept unique to the



target="_blank">Link: Morality

  • Women's rights were carefully maintained in Judaism. Israelite

    women could own property, could initiate court cases, could have

    their own servants, and could own fields and businesses; and the

    Torah specifies marital rights for women (Exodus 21:10).

  • Under Israelite law, everyone had recourse to the courts. A

    child, widow, wife, poor person, etc., could initiate legal action

    against any citizen to redress perpetrated harm. Compare this to

    those societies in which only mature, land-owning males had any

    legal status.

  • The Western diet reflects some of the Judaic dietary law. With

    the exception of the pig, Western society does not eat species not

    contained in kosher law (Deuteronomy ch.14). Owls, mice, insects,

    rats, snakes, cats and dogs are not eaten by most Westerners and it

    is a direct result of Jewish culture.

  • Parents are responsible for teaching children (Deuteronomy

    ch.11). Illiteracy among Israelites, in every generation, was rare.

    Universal education in the Western world is taken for granted

    today, yet this is a recent development. In Judaism, however, it

    goes back for more than 3300 years. Judaism has always maintained

    that education is the highest goal of man in his pursuit of

    godliness. This tradition has now been passed on to Western


  • Infants are to be cherished, protected and cared for, whether

    or not they turned out to be the gender you were hoping for.

    Compare this to societies in which unhealthy babies, or females,

    were killed.

  • Cruelty to animals is not acceptable.

  • Government is accountable to a higher authority. In other

    ancient societies, the monarch was all-powerful. Among the

    Israelites, however, the king was under the constant scrutiny of

    the Divinely-informed prophets, who didn't hesitate to castigate

    him publicly for any misstep in the sight of God. And, other than

    for the crime of rebellion, the king couldn't punish any citizen by

    his own decision. He was obligated by the Torah-procedures like

    everyone else (Talmud, Sanhedrin 19a).


target="_blank">Link: Israelite prophets

  • A robber repays double to his victim (Exodus 22:3), or works it

    off. Cutting off the hands of a robber is a punishable crime.

    Debtors are not imprisoned or harmed. They are made to sell

    property and/or work to repay what they owe. Compare this to the

    Roman practice by which anyone could accuse a man of owing them

    money and the debtor could be killed (Roman "Twelve Tables of Law"

    code, 3:10).

  • Western jurisprudence in general is based in part upon Judaic

    Torah-observance. A quick look at the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20)

    and the laws that follow (Exodus ch.21-23) gives a summary of most

    modern law.

  • It is the responsibility of the community to support the poor

    (Deuteronomy ch.15), the widow, the orphan, and the stranger

    passing through (Exodus 22:20-21).

  • It is important to note that all of the above were instituted

    among the Hebrews (a.k.a. the Israelites) thousands of years

    earlier than in other nations. Here's one example: Infanticide was



    target="_blank">among classical European nations until it was

    stopped by the influence of Judaism and its daughter-religions.

    Professor and former President of the American Historical

    Association, William L. Langer (in The History of Childhood):

    "Children, being physically unable to resist aggression, were the

    victims of forces over which they had no control, and they were

    abused in almost unimaginable ways."


target="_blank">Link: Infanticide was practiced

  • See also other the other Related Links.


target="_blank">Link: More about Judaism's impact


target="_blank">Link: How did Jewish ideas spread?

Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.