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The Welfare Dimension

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines some of the normative categories-the welfare dimension-as it appears in the Hebrew Bible and as elaborated upon in Talmudic literature. The concept of distributive equity encompasses a broad spectrum of social and moral precepts. It refers to the manner in which the economy's output is distributed among individuals. In the modern world, labor is viewed as the most important factor of production in terms of income and employment. One channel through which an economy's income is distributed is labor. Labor issues occupy a central place in the annals of Hebrew Scriptures and later in Talmudic literature. The Talmud, which is linked to the Hebrew Bible, added its own refinement and elaboration. The chapter discusses the Mishnaic method in establishing criteria for poverty. The Mishnaic ?economists" have, therefore, devised certain criteria which provide the official definition of ?poverty.".

Keywords: Hebrew Bible; labor; Mishnaic method; poverty; Talmudic literature; welfare dimension

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