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The Wisdom of Judaism

An Introduction to the Values of the Talmud

Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins

6 x 9, 192 pp, Quality Paperback, 978-1-58023-327-9

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Discover the Talmud and its universal values for all people.
While the Hebrew Bible is the cornerstone of Judaism, it is the Talmud that provides many central values for living. The Talmud sets out specific guidelines and lyrical admonitions regarding many of life’s ordinary events, and offers profound words of advice for life’s most intractable dilemmas.
This accessible introduction to the Talmud explores the essence of Judaism through reflections on the words of the rabbinic sages, from one of American Judaism’s foremost teachers and writers, Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins. Dr. Elkins provides fresh insight into ancient aphorisms and shows you how they can be applied to your life today. Topics include:
  • Kindness through Giving, Welcoming and Sharing
  • Human Relationships
  • Personal Values
  • Family Values
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Life’s Puzzles
Enlightening and inspiring, the values of the Talmud can be appreciated not just by Jews, but by anyone seeking a greater understanding of life and its mysteries.
“A reservoir of rabbinic insights into how we should live our lives—in relationships, family and community…. Helps all of us in our struggles with the enduring questions we face as human beings. A must read for anyone who reflects on what it means to live lives of holiness and goodness.”
Dr. Norman Cohen, provost, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion;
The Way Into Torah
“Beautifully shows the eternal wisdom of our sages in our contemporary world. Elkins’ personal wisdom is interwoven with ancient texts to illuminate so many issues with which we are faced today. A valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding the great worth of the Talmud.”
Rabbi Judith Z. Abrams, PhD, founder and director,
Maqom: A School for Adult Talmud Study
“Examines typical dilemmas humans confront.... This accessible introduction to the morality of Judaism contributes significantly to our practical understanding of Talmudic wisdom.”
Publishers Weekly
“For those of us unable to tackle the multivolume Talmud, this thoughtful and well-written book gives us the essence of Jewish wisdom on a variety of topics relevant to our lives today.”
Ron Miller, chair, religion department, Lake Forest College; coauthor, 
Healing the Jewish-Christian Rift: Growing Beyond Our Wounded History
“A sturdy craft for sailing the sea of Talmud, and Rabbi Elkins is a fine navigator. His choice of text is solid, his commentary is insightful, and his style is both enlightening and engaging. This is a book to come back to over and again.”
Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author, Ethics of the Sages: Pirke Avot—Annotated & Explained
“Clearly and beautifully elucidates important teachings on spiritual concepts like love, charity, kindness and companionship—plus some of life’s sticky issues like greed, sin, and belief. A great book for anyone wanting to dip into the pool of Judaism’s timeless wisdom.”
Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, editor, The Women’s Torah Commentary and
The Women’s Haftarah Commentary
“Filled with wise guidance on the dilemmas humans face every day, mixed with gems from the Jewish tradition. A great book.”
Rabbi Sid Schwarz, founder/president, PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values; author, Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World
“Wise and accessible, this book shines. Everything you need to know about how to be a ‘mensch’ —a fully evolved, caring human being—is here in this treasure trove of practical inspiration.”
Joan Borysenko, PhD, author, Inner Peace for Busy People
“Filled with gems of insight and inspiration.”
Rabbi David Wolpe, Sinai Temple, Los Angeles, California


Related Item(s)
Code Name Image
978-1-59473-037-5 Hebrew Prophets: Selections Annotated & Explained
978-1-58023-271-5 Yom Kippur Readings (HC)
978-1-59473-207-2 Ethics of the Sages: Pirke Avot—Annotated & Explained
978-1-58023-463-4 Other Talmud--The Yerushalmi
978-1-58023-791-8 Sage Tales


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