Jewish Ethics of Shaming in the Age of Corona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

By early 2020, COVID-19 was spreading around the world. In many countries, efforts to stop the proliferation included quarantining sufferers and those around them, and in some cases even locking down entire civilian populations. A pandemic calls for personal responsibility with regard to obeying authorities' instructions concerning social distancing, the wearing of masks, and self-isolation after exposure to a corona patient. The idea of shaming people who are violating the regulations is spreading, but there have been only a few attempts to find the proper balance between respecting human dignity and concern for public health. This article surveys the Jewish ethical principles that seek to balance concern for public health with the shame of the individual and suggests that sometimes there will be both ethical and religious justifications for shaming, at other times, it will be forbidden, and on occasion, it will be permissible within certain limits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-92
Number of pages16
JournalModern Judaism
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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