Moshe Ben-Chaim

Reader: Is there such a thing as Torah economics? Karl Marx said that all history up to his point in time is a result of man's relationship to technology and the means of production. In other words, a person ( s ) is either exploited for his labor or is the exploiter who profits off the exploitation of the working class. He also said, among other things, that the contradictions within capitalism will become so clear eventually, that the workers will revolt and establish a dictatorship of the working class which will inevitably bring forth a communist system which in turn will cause the state to wither away. What does Judaism say about such teachings?


Mesora: Judaism deals with economics, but as a Rabbi taught, we are always made aware of God's complete ownership even in the face of our status as owners. The shmita cycle - the Jubilee year - removes ownership from man for the express purpose of his acknowledging God as the real Owner. Our slaves go free and our fields return to the descendants of the original recipients of the inheritance apportioned by Joshua upon his entrance to Israel.

Individual man has rights as outlined by the Torah area on damages. But how collective society will run is solely dependent upon those leaders at a given time. Provided they are in conformity with the Torah's laws, the may run their countries as they see fit to bring about harmonious state directed towards the study of Torah.

There are no Torah guides for economics, as economics is not a goal in itself.

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