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    Ascetics – Naso

    The laws of the Nazirites turn our attention to the place of asceticism in Jewish thinking.

    Ascetics in every religion keep away from pleasures, luxuries and material benefits. Living a severe life is seen as a way of keeping pure and, hopefully, receiving Divine approval.

    In Judaism there have been a number of ascetic movements but on the whole the Jewish view is that whatever pleasures and joys God has planted in His world are meant for human beings to use and benefit from. The proviso is that one should not go to extremes.

    A person should eat and drink but not be a glutton. They should have fun but not make life into a joke.

    They should enjoy art, music and drama without turning one’s back on good taste and dignity. They should enjoy the environment but not worship it.

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