Judaism, as will be shown through numerous sources, places caring about others and acting benevolently towards other people as the absolute highest priority of the religion. From Scripture to the Talmud to the Midrash and beyond, the value of behaving ethically towards other human beings describes the essence of being Jewish. For example, when declaring which one principle epitomizes Judaism, Rabbi Akiva states it is the verse, known to many: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Jerusalem Talmud, Nedarim 30b). He mentions nothing about G-d, beliefs, or man-to-G-d Mitzvot-commandments in describing the essence of Judaism. Rather, only good behavior towards one's fellow man. In a similar vein, Hillel was forced to encapsulate all of Judaism to the potential convert standing on one foot. Hillel stated essentially the same thing as Rabbi Akiva, except he couched the idea in a more negative but practical manner: "Do not do to your neighbor what you would not want to have done do you (Shabbat 31a). He continues and says that all the rest of Judaism is only commentary based upon this one essential principle and that the convert should now go learn all of Torah. The Torah itself also emphasizes this concept. It tells us not merely to attain it, but to run after and pursue righteousness (sometimes mistranslated as "justice") [this verse]. This is commonly understood to signify that each Jew should ensure that he or she should do the right thing in every situation, i.e., specifically between man and his fellow man. The Torah emphasizes the importance of this notion in the verse in two different ways: it repeats the word "righteousness" twice and it also tells us to run after this concept. In no other place in the Torah (and only in one place in Psalms, about pursuing peace) does G-d use the term "run after it" concerning any other Mitzvah-commandment. Jews are not commanded to run after keeping Kosher or run after eating Matzo on Passover. Only with regard to treating others in the right manner must one actively pursue this goal. The prophet Micah also informs us exactly what G-d wants from each Jew: to do justice and kindness as one walks modestly with G-d. According to the commentaries, this refers only to the commandments that pertain to our goodness and how well we treat our fellow man (Micah 6:8 with Ibn Ezra commentary).
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