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October 5, 2015 | 22nd Tishrei 5776

Jewish Texts and Discussion Materials

Jewish tradition teaches that "whoever saves a life, saves the world entire." Incorporate Jewish text, dialogue and discussion into your congregation's Nothing But Nets campaign.



Discussion Materials:


A Living Talmud is a study document linking Biblical and Talmudic texts with modern commentary and perspectives on pressing issues. These tools can be useful in formal and informal study.


  • “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? If not now, when? Perkei Avot 1:14.
  • “Thou shalt not stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor.” Leviticus 19:16.
  • “By the breath of children, God sustains the world.” Talmud Bavli, Shabbat 119b.
  • “What is might? When you see people about to fall and rescue them.” Midrash Tehillim 52:24
  • Rabbi Gunther Plaut writes, Abraham’s “horizons are not limited by tribal considerations. His is a universal concept of justice… He is a man for all men.” (The Torah: A Modern Commentary, New York: UAHC Press, 1981, p. 133).
  • "Every minute that one delays to redeem the captives when it is possible to move forward, it is as if one spilled blood.” Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 252:3. 
  • He who saves a single life, saves the entire world. Sanhedrin 4:9.
  • R. Joshua asked, “Where shall I find the Messiah?” “At the gate of the city,” Elijah replied. “How shall I recognize him?” “He sits among the lepers.” “Among the lepers!” cried R. Joshua, “what is he doing there?” “He changes their bandages,” Elijah answered. “He changes them one by one.” That may not seem like much for a Messiah to be doing. But apparently, in the eyes of God, it is a mighty thing indeed.” Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 98a. 
  • Rabbi Tarfon said, “It is not up to you to finish the work, yet you are not free to avoid it.” Pirkei Avot 2:16.
  • “Don’t separate yourself from the community. Don’t be overconfident until your day of death. Don’t judge your fellow human being until you have reached that person’s place. Pirkei Avot 2:4.

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