8Use of STORIES IN THE JEWISH TALMUD TO EMPHASIZE SUBSTANCE OVER FORM

Dov Fischer and Hershey H. Friedman

Introduction

The accounting profession and Judaism share an important insight into how rules can help society function. Both the profession and Judaism have traditionally recognized the primacy of substance over form. Judaism is a religion of both substance and form, but the two sometimes come into tension. This tension or dialectic is present in all religions, but especially so in Judaism. This is because the formalistic practice of Judaism has evolved into a highly technical code of rules. In this chapter, we show that while form is important, it is worthless without substance, ethics, and morality. Perhaps the most eloquent expression ...

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