An Ethical Will Over a Monetary or Property Will

analytical Essay
1384 words
1384 words

In todays world an Ethical Will seems almost foreign to many people. A monetary or property Will is a type of Will that people are most familiar with. This deals with ones property being distributed to a younger generation upon or near death.2 The encyclopedia Judaica defines a Will as a, “person’s disposition of his property in favor of another in such manner that the testator retains the property or his rights to it until his death.”5(page65) Some may be unaware that there are different types of monetary Wills. The first is called a Mattenat Bari, which means, “gift by a healthy person.”5 (page 65) The second type is called a Mattenat Shekhiv, “a gift by a person critically ill.” 5 (pg65) The last type is called an Mezavveh Mehamat, “a gift in contemplation of death.” 5 (page65) It is important to notice that in each type of Will, it speaks about a gift given. This is the major difference between a Will and an Ethical Will. An Ethical Will doesn’t give anything with real money value. It is passed down like a montetary/property Will however; an Ethical gives more than just “gifts”. Male or female, husband or wife, anybody who wants to speak to a beloved child, can write it.6 (page26) This version of a will passes on Ethical values dealing with spiritual and moral dimensions of life from one generation to another .1,7 It can also validate ones own life and create a legacy.7 In simplest terms it can be a short letter from a parent giving a family member some helpful advice. It’s a parent’s final word. Jacob Rader Marcus says it best, “it is an ethical instrument.”6 The Ethical Will can be traced back to the eleventh and twelfth centuries onward when it was used for religious and nonspiritual guidance for children.3,... ... middle of paper ... ...great way to remember your loved one. I believe that when one receives it does affect the impact of the reader. I feel as though receiving the Ethical Will after the death of a loved one would have the greater impact. When a family member dies, people always hope to wish to be able to say goodbye or speak to them one more time. Receiving this after their death puts an end to their life in a good way. It allows the reader to feel as though this loved one is still speaking to them through this Will. Its like they haven’t left, still offering advice and being there for you. Getting the will while they are alive can make you understand the writer on a new level, but once they are gone, it may leave one wanting to hear more. Regardless of when it is received, “the ethical will has served as the final act of a parent to guide his offspring in the ways of G-d.”10

In this essay, the author

  • Explains the difference between a will and an ethical will. a monetary or property will deals with one's property being distributed to younger generations upon or near death.
  • Explains that the ethical will dates back to the eleventh and twelfth centuries, when it was used for religious and nonspiritual guidance for children.
  • Explains that jewish ethical wills follow a jewish ideal, such as respecting and honoring the elderly, and enlightening their lives.
  • Explains that ethical wills are an important piece in judaism that they appear in the talmud and bible a numerous amount of times.
  • Analyzes the ethical will in deuteronomy, which moses offered blessings to tribes before he died. david's last words to his successor and son solomon contained his advice and instruction on how solomon could have a successful reign.
  • Analyzes how the talmud contains many ethical wills, one being the tractate sanhedrin which records rabbi eliezer's last words to his students before his death.
  • Analyzes how ethical wills appear in medieval jewish writings, such as judah ibn tibbon's "a father’s admonition" and "the testament of eleazar of mayence."
  • Opines that receiving an ethical will after the death of a loved one would have the greater impact of the reader.
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