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

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  480 ratings  ·  21 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published February 22nd 2000 by Harmony
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Michelle Jones
Jul 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read this book over the course of a year. Give or take a few missed and a few catch up days I read one value each day. This book has had such a large impact on my behavior in lots and lots of ways. One of the most obvious ways is the way I deal with panhandlers and homeless people I encounter. If someone asks me for a dollar and I have a dollar I will now give it to them and I will look them in the eye and tell them to have a nice day. If I don’t have a dollar I’ll offer to buy them some food. ...more
Karen A. Wyle
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I just about never do this -- but I'm reviewing a book I haven't finished (despite the "finished" date on this entry). I do so because:
(a) it's due back at the library, and
(b) this is a book one can read in snippets, and in any order.

Rabbi Telushkin gives us 365 short (no more than two pages) discussions of how to apply the principles of Torah, as explicated in the Talmud and illustrated in the Mishnah and Talmud, to everyday modern life. He does so with a clarity and humility that I found very
Kirk Mahoney
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book aloud to my wife was my daily habit this year, with some reading ahead because of a vacation and again at the end of this year.

We were reared in Christian homes, and we found that every one of the values discussed by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin resonated with -- and reinforced -- our own values.

No matter your background, I highly recommend that you make reading a "day" from this book a daily habit for a full year, if not for two!

As a fan of Dennis Prager, I see how he and Joseph Tel
May 22, 2015 rated it liked it
I read this book both because I wanted an introduction to Telushkin and as someone looking for a beginner-level Jewish ethics how-to manual to recommend to folks studying for conversion.Telushkin offers the reader short, daily, thought-provoking essays that outline a number of lessons from both Torah and Talmud, in language that is understandable and with references that draw the reader to further research. This is a useful entry-level tool, and I suspect I'll be recommending it in the near futu ...more
Apr 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book really helped me understand what Judaism is all about. Mainly I learned about its emphasis on ethical treatment of others--rather than the legalistic, hard-line emphasis on Torah law I had always been taught about (by people who had never studied Jewish thought). It taught me a lot about what integrity really means.
Reid Boehm
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I will be reading and rereading for a long while. I love the author's tone and his wisdom. ...more
Rachel Bayles
May 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
Good, solid guidance for life.
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, ethics, judaism
This book was recommended to me by a Jewish friend so I could better understand her faith. Each daily reading is a carefully reasoned guidance on correct action and attitude in a common situation in everyday life -- not just Jewish life but anyone's life in the world.

The lessons are grounded in Jewish teaching, but that is a tradition grounded in millenia of study and reasoning and interpretation of truely good and just action. I found little in it to contradict the life Catholics are supposed
Cheryl Kloda
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this age of many false values, I found it very refreshing to read "The Book Of Jewish Values". The author, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, makes his book very understandable. Many topics were covered such as how to deal in business, raising kind children, better ways to speak to people etc. Sadly, there are people that practice Jewish rituals, but they are not kind or ethical. Rabbi Telushkin shows that even if one does not practice all the rituals, he or she can still be an ethical person. Yes, wor ...more
Kris Siegel
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jewish-books
There is an entry for each day of the year. When my kids were younger, I tried to read this with my family at dinner each night. We didn't make it through the whole year, but this book offered lots of conversation starters. At the end of a week's worth of entries, there is a list of questions to discuss on Shabbat. This is really a great book, and I'm putting it back on the dining room table! ...more
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love reading this book. It helps keep things in perspective and helps me keep my moral compass calibrated. I take it out every year during the Days of Awe.
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finished my second read through and found plenty of wisdom within. I probably mention something from this book on a weekly basis and really enjoyed the format of daily topics.
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The best book I ever read about values. Many stories and examples on how to apply an entire value system in our daily life. It makes us wiser to take good decisions in our personal contacts.
Farrah Weinstein
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If I ever dont know what the right thing to is, all I need to do is read one of these short stories and I am closer to the answer
Alan Jay
May 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
This is one of many typical books from Rabbi Telushkin. The format is one of reading an ethic/value each day ending in summarizing the topics so that they may be discussed at the Shabbat table which I find to be an excellent structure for families. In addition, many of the weeks have a common theme stimulating broader discussions on Shabbat. However, as is with his many other books that I have read by Rabbi Telushkin, I have found the discussions extremely superficial, with repetition within the ...more
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've been wanting to read this book for twenty years -- ever since I saw Rabbi Telushkin speak at my college. Life often got in the way, but I always had this book on my to-read list. Now, perhaps with the change in routine that has come with the coronavirus, I had a chance to check the book out from my local library. I am glad I did. It is a repository of wisdom tied together with mesmerizing anecdotes and common-sense advice about how to live one's life. I enjoyed the book so much that I plan ...more
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read a day daily. A good gift for Rosh Hashanah because that's when the book starts for the year. The three most memorable blessings for me (which I already do in life but didn't know their singular importance) are:
Day 75 - Giving thanks for good excretory events.
Day 76 - Treating the developmentally disabled with courtly respect.
Day 129 - Walking your guests out past the door to the street.
Take a chance, get the book, treat it nice!
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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

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