Creative Problem Solving in Jewish Learning, Lore, and Humor
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The Jews are known for their intuitive genius in getting out of a pickle. With their long history of persecution, they've developed a knack for escaping seemingly hopeless predicaments: when your back is against the wall, you learn to think fast. Centuries of reasoning and interpreting the Holy Scriptures have also contributed to the Jews' skill in solving the most puzzling problems. This astute way of thinking is known in Yiddish as yiddishe kop , literally "Jewish head."
Through Jewish humor, folklore, and tales of the great rabbis, Rabbi Nilton Bonder presents the basic principles of this creative approach to thinking, which sees beyond appearances to the hidden truth of any problem. Once these are mastered, they may in turn be applied to many "impossible" situations that arise in business and in life.
The book focuses on four levels of solving a problem:
- On the level of Information, we approach problems literally, in response to the obvious and the concrete.
- On the level of Understanding, we obtain concealed information through techniques such as questioning, reframing, and emptying the mind.
- On the level of Wisdom, we access the world of intuition, where a "fool" can achieve the impossible by relying on feelings, premonitions, dreams, and coincidences.
- On the level of Reverence, we discover the hidden Reality behind appearances. This is the realm of those who dare to take risks, make commitments, and learn from mistakes, who act out of their living experience without relying solely on reason and conceptual thinking.
- Shambhala Publications, October 2013
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