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

The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide to Ethical Living from Harmony
The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide to Ethical Living from Harmony The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide to Ethical Living from Harmony (click images to enlarge)
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The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide to Ethical Living from Harmony

$32.50
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In The Book of Jewish Values, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin has 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. 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.

The Book of Jewish Values requires great commitment from its reader, and it promises great reward. "[F]or ethical teachings to carve a way into our hearts, we must study and practice them ... day after day after day," explains Rabbi Joseph Telushkin in the book's introduction. The book is structured as a daily guide to living, with scriptural lessons, meditations, and exercises covering topics ranging from "the first trait to look for in a spouse (Day 17)" to "how to change negative patterns of behavior (Day 150)." At the end of each week, Rabbi Telushkin provides a special Sabbath review of the prior six days' teachings, to ensure continuity among the book's many lessons. This simple, straightforward approach to religious and ethical teaching is an ancient and proven one. As Rabbi Telushkin points out, great teachers through the ages have always said that diligence is the beginning of virtue. (Consider, for instance, Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav: "If you are not going to be better tomorrow than you were today, then what need have you for tomorrow?") --Michael Joseph Gross

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