The Value of Labour in Rabbinic Literature
Tractate Berakoth 8a, Tractate Pesahim 113a, Tractate Baba Bathra 110a
Publication date: 01/03/1995
What does the Talmud teach about the value of labour? Three outstanding examples
In the history of economic doctrine the notion of the labour theory of value plays an important role. Two outstanding economists, David Ricardo and Karl Marx, emphasized the value of labour in their works. Both men grew up in Jewish families and were thus probably aware of the Rabbinic teaching about the value of labour (N.B.: Karl Marx‘s father converted at some point to the Lutheran Church to be allowed to practice law in Prussia). What does the Talmud teach about this topic? Is it possible that the strong emphasis which the above mentioned economists gave to „labour value“ is due to the fact that they (unintentionally) „listened to the Sages“? There are three outstanding examples of Rabbinic teaching about the value of labour. This short introduction examines Tractate Berakoth 8a, Tractate Pesahim 113a, Tractate Baba Bathra 110a.
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