Exploring the Moral Teachings and Life Goals Within Buddhism and Judaism

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Buddhism and Judaism are both rich with moral and ethical instructions that direct their followers on how to live and act. These teachings not only guide mankind in proper behavior, but also offer obedient believers a manner in which to end strife and suffering by achieving Nirvana which brings the end to the circle of rebirth in Buddhism, and in Judaism reaching the ultimate goal of deliverance and eternal salvation. This paper will explore the similarities and differences between Buddhist and Jewish moral teachings and compare both the Ten Commandments which were presented to Moses, and the Noble Eightfold Path that was taught by Buddha.
While Buddhism does not worship any particular Deity, and is not a theistic religion in the same
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God and Abraham made an agreement that Abraham would go forth and create what is now Judaism. Later with the exodus of the Jews from captivity in Egypt, God appeared to Moses on Mount Sinai and gave him the Ten Commandments which were the laws for his chosen people, the Jews. Unlike Buddhism, where the path is created by a man, the Ten Commandments were divinely given and became the laws of the people of Israel.
While these two beliefs seem completely different on the surface, one natural and one divine, underneath they have very similar moral and ethical teachings that offer the hope of an end to earthly displeasures and an eternity without pain and suffering following a life of faithful service here on earth. These teachings come in many forms in the various writings and scriptures of each creed, but the two teachings mentioned previously will be the center of comparison in the following pages.
The first four of the Ten Commandments are, “You shall have no other Gods before me”, “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything…”, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God…”, and “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” (Exodus 20:3-8, TNIV) It would outwardly seem by these four commandments as if there was no similarity to be compared with the Eight Fold Path, these commandments talk of loyalty and obedience to God the creator, and honoring God and the seventh day when he rested following creation.