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Categories Of Value

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the manner in which the Rabbis dealt with the subjective-objective dichotomy in the concept of value. It shows how they came to formulate a unique value category which can be termed price-less value, or, even more paradoxically, valueless value. The Talmudic treatment of the dichotomy relating to value is bound up with the investigation of ?human life value," as conceptualized in the terms erekh nephashot. Spiritualization of the conception of scriptural valuation did not turn merely on the objectification of erekh. It also involved objectification of the term nephesh, which, as was remarked above, is an early scriptural noun describing a combination of subjective and objective attributes inherent within a person. Having objectified both value and human life, the Rabbis still faced the problem of objectifying money.

Keywords: erekh nephashot; human life value; Rabbis; Talmudic treatment

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