Synopses & Reviews
“Jewish thinkers dont 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.
"In 2006, Telushkin, a scholar, writer, lecturer, teacher and rabbi, presented the first of his projected three-volume series on Jewish ethics. Subtitled You Shall Be Holy, the initial contribution focused on character development. This second volume uses the biblical commandment, 'love your neighbor as yourself,' to explore ethical behavior in interpersonal relationships. Among the topics considered are hospitality, visiting the sick, obligations to the dead, comforting mourners, kindness, advice-giving, charity, relationships between Jews and non-Jews, treatment of animals, self-defense, justice and tolerance. Masterfully presented, Telushkin's straightforward opinions are supported by enlightening anecdotes drawn from the Bible, Talmud and Midrash as well as contemporary Jewish and non-Jewish thinkers. While this superlative compendium focuses on Jewish ethics, people of all faiths will find the precepts so unambiguously presented here to have significant value." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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 forgenerations to come, rich with questions to ponder and discuss, but primarily a book to live by.