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Jewish Wisdom

4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  295 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 688 pages
Published October 21st 1994 by William Morrow
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Bradley Farless
Aug 02, 2014 Bradley Farless rated it really liked it
Shelves: jewish-studies
I read this over the course of a year or so. It is a collection of sayings and quotes that seems to cover almost every major subject of Jewish thought, history and life. I like how informative it is, how it pointed me in the direction I needed to go for further reading on specific subjects, and it makes for great train reading on a mobile device, because you can easily pick up where you left off without really losing the train of thought or argument of the author. Mostly because there isn't an o ...more
Clifton McLendon
Profound Ideas, Simply and Warmly Presented

I have been interested in Judaism for almost sixty years now. I knew quite a bit before reading Rabbi Telushkin's book. Now I know more, and learning it was fun, because Rabbi Telushkin explained matters both deeply and simply, neither talking down to me nor over my head.
I eagerly recommend this book to any philomath.
Neal Karlen
Mar 26, 2013 Neal Karlen rated it liked it
Well, I marked this book "read" because over the years I've cribbed and exhumed and excavated the guts of this book out on Jewish holidays in order to wow friends and family. Telushkin is no Maimonides, but what do we need another Maimonides for? The good rabbi has obviously done his homework from Hebrew School to ordination to the pulpit to grandiose popularizer of impossible to understand and often contradictory byways and darkened alleys of Judaic thought.

Thank G-d SOMEONE did it!

Hope to stea
This ended up in my collection because my reasoning went something like "before any of the Abrahamic religions can be true, the Torah must be true. If the Torah is false, all religions built on its foundation must also be false." Thus, I was picking up and collecting a variety of Jewish writings. Of everything I collected, I liked this one the best. Interestingly, it isn't about selling a religion, it is a collection of sayings, philosophy, and wisdom that can be useful to a wider audience.
Apr 10, 2013 Tina rated it really liked it
Learned much from reading this book - but learned mostly how much there is that I do not know. Filled with short excerpts from many many learned sources with varying opinions and understandings of Jewish ritual and practice in virtually every subject imaginable and elucidated by the author's explanations. Thought-provoking and yet easy to read in short bursts as each chapter is short and focuses on one topic. Many chapters, many topics!

Feb 11, 2010 Courtney rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. It gave me a teensy bit better understanding of the talmud, which was something I did not understand at all. I loved how it was set up into small little sections. I learned so much that I was disappointed when I was finished with it.
Apr 15, 2015 Ellie rated it it was amazing
Well it took me almost a year and a half to read! I converted to Judaism about a year ago and this book has opened a phenomenal amount of conversation between me and the rabbi I study with. It is a great book to learn a variety of concepts from.
May 27, 2014 Matthew rated it it was amazing
So this wasn't a "cover to cover" book. I will say that each segment, however, was a reflective & creative bit of erudition. I enjoyed that I could stop and start while reading other books and living life.
Craig Bolton
"Jewish Wisdom: Ethical, Spiritual, and Historical Lessons from the Great Works and Thinkers by Joseph Telushkin (1994)"
Matt West
Jun 10, 2009 Matt West rated it really liked it
This book, like Telushkin's others, gives a survey of Jewish thought and wisdom. A good book for beginners like me.

Sep 16, 2011 Devorah rated it really liked it
Shelves: judaica
Organized by topic or ethical concept, rather than chronology, this is another very useful summary to use for reference.
Jane De vries
Jun 10, 2016 Jane De vries rated it it was amazing
This man is brilliant and knows what he is talking about. i had the pleasure of meeting him. Good reference book.
Dec 03, 2010 Zev rated it it was amazing
Very good, especially for someone new to Judaism.
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Joseph Telushkin (born 1948) is an American rabbi, lecturer, and best selling author. His more than 15 books include several volumes about Jewish ethics, Jewish Literacy, as well as "Rebbe", a New York Times best seller released in June 2014

Telushkin was raised in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Solomon and Hellen Telushkin. He attended Yeshiva of Flatbush where met his future co-author Dennis Prag
More about Joseph Telushkin...

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“Whoever cannot survive without taking charity, such as an old, sick, or greatly suffering individual, but who stubbornly refuses to accept aid, is guilty of murdering himself…yet one who needs charity but postpones taking it and lives in deprivation so as to not trouble the community, shall live to provide for others." —Rabbi Joseph Karo (1488–1575), Shulkhan Arukh (The Code of Jewish Law), Yoreh Deah 255:2” 1 likes
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they become one flesh. —Genesis 2:24” 1 likes
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