When, if ever, should lying be permitted? If you've damaged a person's reputation unfairly, can the damage be undone? Is a person who sells weapons responsible for how those weapons are used? If the fetus is not a life, what is it? How, as an adult, can one carry out the command to honor one's parents when they make unreasonable demands? What are the nine biblical challenges a good person must meet? What do the great Jewish writings of the last 3,500 years tell us about these and all other vital questions about our lives? Rabbi Joseph Telushkin has devoted his life to the search for answers within the teachings of Judaism. In Jewish Wisdom, Rabbi Telushkin, the author of the highly acclaimed Jewish Literacy, weaves together a tapestry of stories from the Bible and Talmud, and the insights of Jewish commentators and writers from Maimonides, Rashi, and Hillel to Einstein, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Elie Wiesel. A richer source of crucial life lessons would be hard to imagine. Accompanying this extraordinary compilation is Telushkin's compelling commentary, which reveals how these texts continue to instruct and challenge Jews and all people concerned with leading ethical lives today. As he discusses these texts, Rabbi Telushkin addresses issues of fundamental interest to modern readers, how to live with honesty and intergrity in an often dishonest world, how to care for the sick and dying; how to teach children to respect both themselves and others; how to understand and confront such great tragedies as anti-Semitism and the Holocaust; what God wants from humankind. Within Jewish Wisdom's ninety chapters the reader will find extended sections illuminating Jewish perspectives on sex, romance, and marriage, what kind of belief in God a Jew can have after the Holocaust, how to use language ethically, the conflicting views of the Bible and Talmud on the death penalty, and much, much more. Jewish Wisdom adds a new dimension to the many widely read contemporary books that retell the stories and reveal the essence of classic religious and secular literature. Possibly the most far-ranging volume of stories and quotations from Jewish texts, Jewish Wisdom will itself become a classic, a book that not only has the capacity to transform how you view the world, but one that well might change how you choose to live your life.
by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin