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The Ten Commandments and many other elements of Hebrew law provided a major source for the development of western legal systems and democracy.
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| The Ten Commandments and many other elements of Hebrew law provided a major source for the development of western legal systems and democracy.|
Equality The Torah teaches that God created Adam, the first human, as the father of all peoples. Thus, all humans are born equal and should be treated equally by the law. Like most other Middle Eastern peoples in ancient times, the Hebrews did not treat women as the legal equals of men. For example, women were usually not permitted to appear as witnesses in court. Nevertheless, Jewish law still identified many women's rights and protections.
Punishment The Torah clearly states the punishment for violating the commandment against killing: "Whoso sheddeth man's blood by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made He man." Other capital crimes included adultery, idolatry, kidnapping, and burglary. Methods of execution in the Old Testament included burning, slaying with a sword, and stoning by the people. Because of the strict requirement of due process demanded by Jewish law to convict a murderer, some scholars believe the death+penalty+was+rarely+carried+out%3C%2Fspan?parent=Coll_Group_CentralValleyOnlineSchool.Lesson104-TheHebrewsandtheFoundationofWesternLaw">. Over the centuries, Jewish scholars agonized about the death penalty. Since the Torah says that man's body is holy and should not be mutilated, scholars devised execution methods to avoid this desecration. For example, they argued that "stoning,” meant pushing a criminal off a high place into stones below to bring about a quick death with a minimum of mutilation.
|Assignment 1.04 - The Hebrews and the Foundation of Western Law|
Answer the following questions. You may have to go back to assignments 1.02-1.03 to answer the first question. 1. In what ways did ancient Hebrew law differ from that of the Greeks and Roman civilizations? 2. What elements of Jewish law can you find in the U.S. Bill of Rights? The US Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution *