The narrative of Decalogue as an integrated expression of the basic principle of formation of Jewish law

Authors

  • Dmytro Frankiv VOThA

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32420/2020.90.2118

Keywords:

Decalogue, principles of Jewish law, Jewish law, biblical law, educational principle, theology, morality

Abstract

The purpose of this article was to comprehensively explore the phenomenon of the narrative of the Decalogue in its fundamental principles in the context of the theological understanding of Jewish law. For this purpose abstract-logical methods, historical-legal, phenomenological, axiological, epistemological methods, method of critical and systematic analysis and method of comparative theology were used. The result is a theological understanding of the basic moral and legal principles and reducing to a single, systematic; a study of the correlation between the normative and the moral side of such a narrative was conducted. Of particular importance is the establishment and isolation of the basic initial principle in the defined context that underlies both Sinai law and all the biblical law. Because with the change of historical realities, which coincided with the destruction of the Temple and the termination of sacrifices, the law has also changed. However, the biblical law was of particular ideological importance, it set the tone and revealed and formed the basic principles for the further development of all Jewish law. Therefore, in our study we have drawn attention to the main ideological features of the biblical laws, because in our opinion, the basic formative essence is hidden in them and only by understanding it − will we be able to understand Jewish law itself. However, the phenomenon of law and even more so of Jewish law, is one of the best regulators and exponents of the educational principle that is designed to raise a person in love. Of course, morality is called for it and it should take precedence over everything else, but the legal part should not be ignored. Law should serve as a socially just, integrative, fundamental, binding, most effective, most respected regulator. Therefore, the problem of combining legal principles and moral precepts for biblical law did not stand basically. The significant part of the adopted legal norms initially was characterized by moral prescriptions, confirmed and expressed by law. Such a transition, the shift from morality to law, and the close relationship between them are one inseparable whole. And apart from Halacha, which was responsible for the legal aspect (the transition from morality to law), there were also the writings of the prophets whose task was to illuminate the transition from law to morality, because precisely morality is the essence of everything. Here is the true meaning of the existence of a legal expression of such an educational principle. Thus, the basic educational principle of the Decalogue, in particular, and of biblical law in general, was to educate a high-moral person who had restrictive precepts that would not allow him to fall into lawlessness (moral law), and the formative commandments that would allow a person to be educated in the search for God, and to stabilize himself in the godlike state commanded by God through Moses. That is the essence of the Decalogue and Jewish law. The educational principle, both basic and effective, though not so familiar to the modern understanding of the nature of law, is precisely the principle that laid down both the basis of the Decalogue and the foundation of all Jewish law at least in its biblical part.

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Published

2020-03-31

Issue

Section

Articles