An accessible and engaging new
translation of Buber’s classic work—
available as an e-book only.
Now with a foreword by Paul Mendes-Flohr and
translators of this new edition, Bernard Mehlman
and Gabriel Padawer, Buber’s spiritual writings
come to life.
Martin Buber was one of the most significant religious
thinkers of the twentieth century. In this short
and remarkable book, he presents the essential teachings
of Hasidism, the mystical Jewish movement which
swept through Eastern Europe in the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries. Told through legendary tales of
the Hasidic masters, together with Buber’s own unique
insights, The Way of Man offers us a way of understanding
ourselves and our place in a spiritual world.
“There is something,” he suggests, “that can only be
found in one place. It is a great treasure, which may be
called the fulfillment of existence. The place where this
treasure can be found is the place on which one stands.”
Challenging us to recognize our own potential
and to reach our true goal, The Way of Man is a life-enhancing
“Martin Buber’s still-large voice has more importance than ever, and in this new translation, it rings with special eloquence. Through Buber—and now through Mehlman and Padawer—the wisdom of the Hasidic Rabbis lives, and lives again.”
—James Carroll, author, Jerusalem, Jerusalem
“The Way of Man, Martin Buber’s sparkling gem of deep Hasidic life-learning, is finally available in a fresh new translation that makes it glow even brighter. Mehlman and Padawer have given us a very special gift, providing rich background information, accessible language and all the guidance one needs to plumb the depths of Buber’s compelling thought. This extraordinary volume addresses today’s most pressing questions of meaning, self-awareness, coherence and purpose, and its wisdom belongs in every classroom and library, where it can help individuals walk further along their own special way.”
—Rabbi Dr. Aaron Panken, assistant professor of Rabbinic and Second Temple Literature, Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion, New York
“A hidden gem from the last century is made to shine for today’s thinkers who seek the wisdom of previous generations in understanding where we stand here in the modern world. Mehlman and Padawer’s lucid and poignant prose inspire readers to move on their particular way as they seek meaningful paths to understand their relationship to Divinity and humanity.”
—Rabbi Dr. Seth Limmer, Congregation B’nai Yisrael, Armonk, New York
“Martin Buber has much to say to today’s generation of Jews and non-Jews, but he is not always easy to understand. We can be grateful to Mehlman and Padawer for rendering one of Buber’s seminal essays into accessible English.”
—Rabbi Harold Kushner, author, When Bad Things Happen to Good People; Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Israel, Natick, Massachusetts
“Martin Buber’s The Way of Man According to Hasidic Teaching, a genuine masterpiece of twentieth-century religious writing, is given new life in this clear and learned annotated translation by Bernard Mehlman and Gabriel Padawer. Buber’s luminous insights into the life of the spirit and the human condition, grounded in the simple yet profound wisdom tales of the Hasidic masters, are now made accessible to new generations of readers. The introduction of Mehlman and Padawar frames Buber’s gem in its postwar historical context, uncovering new aspects of his triumphant achievement.”
—Rabbi Dr. Nehemia Polen, professor of Jewish thought, Rabbinical School at Hebrew College, Newton, Massachusetts
“These gifted translators deliver Martin Buber’s teaching of Hasidic tales and inspired interpretations in a gender neutral, poetic version of The Way of Man that delights the mind and touches the heart. Each careful word choice enables us to appreciate anew the power of the work’s soulful message. Rabbi Mehlman and Dr. Padawer combine mastery of the material with their experience as beloved educators to deliver Buber’s treasures to curious learners at any level. I will use it in my own teaching. This is an exquisite new translation filled with timely wisdom.”
—Rabbi Elka Abrahamson, president, Wexner Foundation, Columbus, Ohio
“Martin Buber lived in Germany and Palestine/Israel (1878–1965) and yet his writing speaks to Americans today. His newly translated and annotated The Way of Man is a brief essay that uses six Hasidic tales—like Aesop’s fables—and the wisdom of many Polish rabbis to answer the question, ‘How should I live my life?’ A deeply spiritual man, Buber concludes that ‘Ultimately, everything depends upon this: letting God in.’ Mehlman and Padawer’s fluid translation eases the process for achieving that end.”
—Shulamit Reinharz, director, Women’s Studies Research Center; the Jacob Potofsky Chair at Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts
“In this wonderful edition, Martin Buber speaks in warm and personal voice as a spiritual mentor to a beloved listener.”
—Rabbi Dennis S. Ross, author, All Politics Is Religious: Speaking Faith to the Media, Policy Makers and Community and God in Our Relationships: Spirituality between People from the Teachings of Martin Buber
“Finding your way in The Way of Man has just become much more accessible with the new translation by Mehlman and Padawer. They have provided the ultimate navigational tool to this exquisite work by Martin Buber. Their engaging and elucidating notes and the elegant cadence and poetic prose of their word choice will enable every person to discover his or her own path toward a life of meaning, sanctity and depth. Any seeker who desires to find unity between one’s inner life and the external one need only traverse these pages. The combination of Martin Buber’s teaching translated by Bernard Mehlman and Gabe Padawer has ensured with clarity and vision that we need not be lost in our search and that by reading and engaging with the ideas presented here, a beautifully illuminated path lays before each and every one of us to pursue.”
—Rabbi Elaine Zecher, Temple Israel, Boston, Massachusetts
Martin Buber is among the foremost twentieth-century philosophers of human relations and Jewish thought. He is best known for his revival of popular interest in Hasidism and his philosophy of dialogue, a form of existentialism centered on the distinction between the I-Thou and I-It relationships. His work on Hasidic thought, Zionism and religious philosophy continues to influence both the academic study of Judaism and religious thinking more broadly. He also inspired the trend toward neo-Hasidism among modern Jews. His books include I and Thou, Tales of the Hasidim, On Judaism and many others.
Rabbi Bernard H. Mehlman, senior scholar at Temple Israel in Boston, Massachusetts, teaches midrash and homiletics
at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. Formerly, he was distinguished lecturer in Judaics at
Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Dr. Gabriel E. Padawer, who emigrated to the United States as a refugee from Nazi persecution in 1938, is a registered professional engineer, a Fellow of the US National Science Foundation and a life-long student of Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy.
Dr. Paul Mendes-Flohr is professor of modern Jewish thought in the University of Chicago Divinity School.