The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide to Ethical Living

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Rabbi Joseph Telushkin combed the Bible, the Talmud, and the whole spectrum of Judaism's sacred writings to give us a manual on how to lead a decent, kind, and honest life in a morally complicated world.

"An absolutely superb book: the most practical, most comprehensive guide to Jewish values I know." —Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Telushkin speaks to the major ethical issues of our time, issues that have, of course, been around since the beginning. He offers one or two pages a day of pithy, wise, and easily accessible teachings designed to be put into immediate practice. The range of the book is as broad as life itself:

• The first trait to seek in a spouse (Day 17)
• When, if ever, lying is permitted (Days 71-73)
• Why acting cheerfully is a requirement, not a choice (Day 39)
• What children don't owe their parents (Day 128)
• Whether Jews should donate their organs (Day 290)
• An effective but expensive technique for curbing your anger (Day 156)
• How to raise truthful children (Day 298)
• What purchases are always forbidden (Day 3)

In addition, Telushkin raises issues with ethical implications that may surprise you, such as the need to tip those whom you don't see (Day 109), the right thing to do when you hear an ambulance siren (Day 1), and why wasting time is a sin (Day 15). Whether he is telling us what Jewish tradition has to say about insider trading or about the relationship between employers and employees, he provides fresh inspiration and clear guidance for every day of our lives.
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About the author

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, spiritual leader and scholar, is the author of Jewish Literacy, the most widely read book on Judaism of the past two decades. Another of his books, Words That Hurt, Words That Heal, was the motivating force behind Senators Joseph Lieberman and Connie Mack's 1996 Senate Resolution #151 to establish a "National Speak No Evil Day" throughout the United States. Rabbi Telushkin serves as a senior associate of CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and is the rabbi of the Los Angeles-based Synagogue for the Performing Arts. He lives with his family in New York City and lectures regularly throughout the United States.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Harmony
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Published on
Jun 1, 2011
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Pages
544
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ISBN
9780307794451
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Ethics
Religion / Judaism / Rituals & Practice
Religion / Judaism / Theology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A Code of Jewish Ethics, Volume 1: You Shall Be Holy is the initial volume of the first major code of Jewish ethics to be written in the English language. It is a monumental work on the vital topic of personal character and integrity by one of the premier Jewish scholars and thinkers of our time.

With the stated purpose of restoring ethics to its central role in Judaism, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin offers hundreds of examples from the Torah, the Talmud, rabbinic commentaries, and contemporary stories to illustrate how ethical teachings can affect our daily behavior. The subjects dealt with are ones we all encounter. They include judging other people fairly; knowing when forgiveness is obligatory, optional, or forbidden; balancing humility and self-esteem; avoiding speech that shames others; restraining our impulses of envy, hatred, and revenge; valuing truth but knowing when lying is permitted; understanding why God is the ultimate basis of morality; and appreciating the great benefits of Torah study. Telushkin has arranged the book in the traditional style of Jewish codes, with topical chapters and numbered paragraphs. Statements of law are almost invariably followed by anecdotes illustrating how these principles have been, or can be, practiced in daily life. The book can be read straight through to provide a solid grounding in Jewish values, consulted as a reference when facing ethical dilemmas, or studied in a group.

Vast in scope, this volume distills more than three thousand years of Jewish laws and suggestions on how to improve one’s character and become more honest, decent, and just. It is a landmark work of scholarship that is sure to influence the lives of Jews for generations to come, rich with questions to ponder and discuss, but primarily a book to live by.
“Jewish thinkers don’t talk all that much about love. All too often we leave that to Christian theologians. But in this excellent volume, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin puts the commandment to love at the center of Jewish theology and experience. This is a book that will change the way you think about–and practice–Judaism.”
–Professor Ari L. Goldman, Columbia University, and author of The Search for God at Harvard

“Love your neighbor as yourself” is the best-known commandment in the Bible. Yet we rarely hear anyone talk about how to apply these words in daily life. In this landmark work, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, one of the premier scholars and thinkers of our time, gives both Jews and non-Jews an extraordinary summation of what Jewish tradition teaches about putting these words into practice.

Writing with great clarity and simplicity as well as with deep wisdom, Telushkin covers topics such as love and kindness, hospitality, visiting the sick, comforting mourners, charity, relations between Jews and non-Jews, compassion for animals, tolerance, self-defense, and end-of-life issues. This second volume of the first major code of Jewish ethics written in the English language is breathtaking in its scope and will undoubtedly influence readers for generations to come. It offers hundreds of practical examples from the Torah, the Talmud, the Midrash, and both ancient and modern rabbinic commentaries–as well as contemporary anecdotes–all teaching us how to care for one another each and every day.

A Code of Jewish Ethics, Volume 2: Love Your Neighbor as Yourself is a consummate work of scholarship. Like its acclaimed predecessor, which received the National Jewish Book Award, it is rich with ideas to contemplate and discuss, while being primarily a book to live by. Nothing could be more important in these strife-torn times than learning how to love our neighbors as ourselves. The message of this book is as vital and timely now as it has been since time immemorial.
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