How can Jewish ethics shape how people make decisions about daily life during a pandemic? Rabbi Mira Wasserman, who directs the Center for Jewish Ethics, explains how ethical considerations have shaped her own decisions — such as whether to drive her child to school or send him on the school bus — and how they should operate on a communal level. She also addresses the narrowness of questions of medical ethics such as best use of limited hospital resources, arguing that a true ethical response to crisis goes beyond the mechanics of triage to address the structural inequities in our health care system that lead to scarcity in good times as well as crises. She and Bryan also cover how Hollywood action movies' model of heroism reflect a warped model of heroic individualism that neglects less flashy, but vital and sustaining contributions. Is it time to rethink the actions and behaviors celebrated by American society?
Theme song, “Ilu Finu” by Rabbi Miriam Margles. Her album This is the Day is available for purchase at CDBaby: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/miriammarglesandthehadarensemb
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- Jewish Values and the Coronavirus | Reconstructing Judaism — This guide to values-based decision making collects and curates sources from the Jewish ethical tradition and insights from today’s leading ethical thinkers.
- Against Apocalyptic Ethics: Human Responsibility Before, During and After a Pandemic (Evolve essay) — Jewish ethics regards every human life as having absolute value. What follows from this is a vision of how society must be structured all the time, rather than a prescription for ER triage
- Values-Based Decision Making | Reconstructing Judaism