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Synopsis

Organized by subject, this is a collection of teachings and quotations from the Talmud, the Bible, rabbinical commentaries, and ancient and modern religious and secular writings. Writers include Elie Wiesel, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Hebrew poet Hayim Bialik, Cynthia Ozick, Emile Zola, Albert Einstein, Bruno Bettelheim, Gertrude Stein, Irving Howe, and Maimonides. In commentary that explains why these teachings remain meaningful to Jews today, Rabbi Telushkin addresses such issues as relationships between people; individuals and their quest for meaning; what God wants from us; the modern Jewish experience; and Jewish values as they confront the Holocaust, Zionism, and Israel. Telushkin's commentaries are especially helpful because of the myriad quotations from the Talmud. There are also anti-Semitic quotations from Pharaoh and Haman (the first two recorded anti-Semites), from Voltaire, Hitler, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, H. L. Mencken, Gen. Ulysses Grant, Henry Ford, Charles Lindberg, and Louis Farrakhan, to name a few. But there is much wisdom here. Jews—and even non-Jews—will find the book a treasure. George Cohen (Booklist)

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