Censorship and Freedom of Speech In Judaism and In America


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Censorship and Freedom of Speech: In Judaism And In America Evan Risch and Joshua Fishman

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The Relationship between Censorship and Freedom of Speech Censorship is the flip side of freedom of speech; censorship limits freedom of speech In Judaism, the Torah censors freedom of speech In America, the government censors freedom of speech

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Censorship In Judaism “You shall not go as a gossiper among your people” (Leviticus 19:16) The Mishnah states that “one who reads external books has no portion in the world to come” Some believe that this means literature written by non-Jews Rav Yoseph Caro said that one is not allowed to read books about war stories Rav Yoseph Caro also tried to burn a book that said that Talmudic scholars were not always right

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Freedom of Speech in Judaism Discussion in the Gemara Scholars were allowed different opinions in Talmudic discussions In Talmudic discussions, majority ruled, however the minority had a right to its opinion The Torah indirectly discusses freedom of speech The Kabalah teaches that only one who is capable of ruling properly may be entrusted with freedom of speech One is permitted to disagree with the king, high priest, or the Sanhedrin when disputing the reasoning of a ruling

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Censorship in America: The Motion Picture Rating System The U.S. motion picture rating system began in 1922 The MPAA (Motion Picture Association Of America) claims that it does not censor, rather it allows parents to decide what is right for their children However, children under the age of 16 will not be let into NC-17 rated movies regardless of the wishes of the parents The MPAA stopped approving (or disapproving) movies in 1968

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Censorship in America: Exceptions to Freedom of Speech The U.S. government curtails freedom of speech in cases such as obscenity, defamation, fighting words, classified material, and copyright/patented material Time, place, and manner restrictions Protesters cannot take their protest out of the free-speech-zones Some claim that this is a violation of the first amendment and a form of censorship

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Similarities and Differences The Torah is the Constitution of the Jewish people Both the Torah and the Constitution allow freedom of speech to the peoples they govern However, both in Judaism and in the Constitution, freedom of speech is not absolute Judaism limits freedom of speech more than the Constitution Censorship is incorporated into the Torah and the Constitution to provide a moral code of conduct =

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Bibliography "Freedom of speech in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Oct. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_in_the_United_States#National_security>. "Reasons for Movie Ratings (CARA)." Movie ratings . N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Oct. 2011. <http://www.filmratings.com/filmRatings_Cara/#/about/>. Stone, Mathew. "A COMPARISON OF FREE SPEECH IN AMERICAN AND JEWISH LAW." Chicago Kent College. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Oct. 2011. <www.kentlaw.edu/ilh/Mstone.pdf>.