The Torah as the source of economic freedom and its sustainability

At first glance, the Torah does not address the issues of economic and social order (surely, it does not discuss distinctions between free capitalist and socialist approaches). Talmudic sources, occasionally restricting economic freedom, often reflected realities of communities which survived under pressure of hostile environment and were in permanent need of mobilization to meet external challenges. At the same time, the Torah, the Tanakh and the Talmud prescribe limited government and rule of law. But above all, the Torah provides the most powerful protection of private property and personal rights: the protection is sanctified by the Lord and based on moral imperatives, rather than being just for the sake of economic efficiency.

The paper (in Hebrew) is uploaded at SSRN.

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