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Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices: Body

By Louis E. Newman (editor), Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff (editor)

Thanks to Aaron J. Feingold, M.D.; The Ben and Esther Rosenbloom Foundation for making publication of this book possible.


This JPS ethics series deals with some of the most critical moral issues of our time

The emphasis on questions, not answers, makes the Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices series different from many other ethical works… an excellent resource for readers seeking to lead more ethical lives.” – The Reporter

“Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices is a series of short books that are designed to engage the lay public in ethical issues that face people in the choices they make on a daily basis… they are quite accessible for the lay readers.“ - The Jewish Press

What are our obligations and rights to our own bodies? What does Judaism say about tattoos? Piercings? About our obligations to exercise and eat properly? What about smoking? Alcohol? Recreational drugs? Who owns our organs? What about our eggs and sperm? If resources are limited, whose body comes first and how do we decide? Why do so many young Jews suffer from eating disorders?

Each volume in this series presents traditional and contemporary sources on specific topics, followed by hypothetical cases and study questions to provoke discussion. Supplementing these are brief essays written by a diverse group -- political figures and journalists, business professionals and authors, scholars and artists, young voices and old, traditional believers and iconoclasts. As a conclusion, Dorff and Newman present their own reflections, providing a counterpoint to the contributors' perspectives.

These voices from the Jewish tradition and today's Jewish community give us new questions and perspectives to think about and encourage us to consider our moral choices in a new light.

Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices takes a hard look at important and controversial topics of our time. Future volumes include Power; War and National Security; Sexual Relations; and The Internet.

About Louis E. Newman

Louis E. Newman is the John M. and Elizabeth W. Musser Professor of Religious Studies and the director of Judaic Studies at Carleton College, and the author of Past Imperatives: Studies in the History and Theory of Jewish Ethics. He is completing An Introduction to Jewish Ethics, a college textbook.

About Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff

Elliot N. Dorff, Rabbi (Jewish Theological Seminary), PhD (Columbia University), is rector and Sol and Anne Dorff Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism) in Los Angeles. Among the twelve books he has written are four award-winning books on Jewish ethics and law published by The Jewish Publication Society: Matters of Life and Death (1998) on Jewish medical ethics; To Do the Right and the Good (2002) on Jewish social ethics; Love Your Neighbor and Yourself on Jewish personal ethics; and For the Love of God and People: A Philosophy of Jewish Law (2007). He has also edited 10 books, including Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality (Oxford, 1995) and Contemporary Jewish Theology (Oxford, 1999), co-edited by Louis Newman, who also co-edited with Dorff the first three volumes of the Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices series. Since 1984, Rabbi Dorff has served on the Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, and has served as its Chair since 2007. He has also served on several federal advisory commissions dealing with the ethics of health care, sexual responsibility, and research on human subjects. He is a member of the State of California’s Ethics Committee on embryonic stem cell research.