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Annotated & Explained

Translation and Annotation by Rabbi Rami Shapiro

5.5 x 8.5, 288 pp, Quality Paperback, 978-1-59473-310-9

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Wise and practical prescriptions for how to live with an honest perception of reality
can become a companion for your own spiritual journey.

More than commonplace truisms, the biblical Book of Proverbs is an anthology of teachings designed to help you live with a sense of self-responsibility. Its wisdom, compiled in the seventh century BCE and credited to King Solomon, transcends nationality and politics, addressing instead the individual seeking the true satisfaction and tranquility that comes from living with an honest perception of reality.

In this fresh translation of an ancient “how-to,” Rami Shapiro unpacks the proverbs, demonstrating how these complex poetic forms are actually straightforward instructions to live simply, without rationalizations and excuses. He shows how unlike almost anything else in the Hebrew Bible, the truths claimed in the Book of Proverbs are testable and verifiable. They force us to examine our lives and how we are living them without the benefit of psychological sophistry and New Age babble: We are either doing good or doing bad; we are either disciplined or lazy; we are either students of wisdom or puppets of desire.

Now you can experience the Book of Proverbs and understand Solomon’s teachings with no previous knowledge of the Hebrew Bible. This SkyLight Illuminations edition presents insightful commentary that shares these timeless principles and encourages us to put them into practice in ways that are uniquely our own.

Praise for Rami Shapiro’s Work

“With energy, enthusiasm, and interfaith perspective, Shapiro offers an invaluable gift with this inspiring and enlightening work.”

Spirituality & Health

“One of the outstanding leaders in the field of modern spirituality…. His mastery of English and Hebrew enables him to render the ancient words in ways that bring light and inspiration.”

Jewish Media Review

“Powerful and rich … written so skillfully and accessibly that it will be read by people from all traditions.”

Roshi Joan Halifax, abbot, Upaya Zen Center

“Stunning…. Stimulates the mind and summons readers to action.”

Montreal Anglican

“Rami Shapiro’s contemporary and pungently poetic recreations of ancient biblical classics have inspired and instructed me for years.”

Andrew Harvey, author, A Walk with Four Spiritual Guides: Krishna, Buddha, Jesus,and Ramakrishna

“Judicious…. Should be a help to the beginner and more advanced student alike; it is not just a translation, but a guide to timeless and universal ideas.”

Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter

“Alive with meaning. Highly recommended.”

Library Journal

“Clarifies and explains the meaning of every segment of the wisdom…. Recommended for personal study and enlightenment.”

Midwest Book Review

“Illuminating [and] salutary.”

Spirituality & Practice

“One of the great Jewish spiritual teachers of our generation.”

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, Emanu-El Scholar, Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco; author, I’m God; You’re Not: Observations on Organized Religion & Other Disguises of the Ego and other books


Related Item(s)
Code Name Image
978-1-58023-419-1 Conscience (PB)
978-1-59473-287-4 Ecclesiastes
978-1-59473-207-2 Ethics of the Sages: Pirke Avot—Annotated & Explained
978-1-59473-245-4 Money and the Way of Wisdom: Insights from the Book of Proverbs
978-1-59473-389-5 Book of Job: Annotated & Explained
978-1-58023-855-7 Wisdom of Solomon and Us


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