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Volume 9, No.1 Fall1990 EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION 1 This special issue of Shofar is devoted to Jewish ethics. It is divided into three sections. The first section consists of four essays on a variety of fundamental issues encountered by one preoccupied with studying and teaching this complex area of Judaica. The second section turns from issues in defining the nature and parameters ofJewish ethics to the more pragmatic problem of how it may be taught in a variety of academic settings. S. Daniel Breslauer's essay serves as a bridge between these two sections. The third section provides a listing of significant works on the subject for those interested in studying and teaching the area. To be sure, there is no unanimity as to what Jewish ethics may be and as to how it may be taught. However, it is hoped that what follows serves to further discussion of those issues. Suffice it here to suggest a definition of ethics offered by the medieval Jewish ethical treatise, Sefer Ma 'alot ha-Middot: "Ethics is not doing in private that which one would be ashamed to do in public." Put in contemporary terms, ethics would mean not doing anything one would not want to see reported on nightly network news. Finally, I want to thank Professor Joseph Haberer of Purdue University for inviting me to edit this issue of Shofar. I also want to thank the other contributors: S. Daniel Breslauer, Peter J. Haas, Menachem Kellner, Louis Newman, and Gordon Tucker for sharing the products of their significant work in this field. Without the technical assistance of Pam Spitzner of Spertus College of Judaica and Nancy Lein of Purdue University, Managing Editor of Shofar, the production of this issue would not have been possible. To them, my gratitude. This volume is far from definitive. It represents an early initiative in an area of Jewish studies that has long been neglected but which is now beginning to develop. May it and those who labor in its vineyards grow "from strength to strength." Byron L. Sherwin Chicago, Illinois Summer 1990 ...


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