A Code of Jewish Ethics: Volume 1: You Shall Be Holy

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Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony, Feb 4, 2009 - Religion - 576 pages
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A Code of Jewish Ethics, Volume 1: You Shall Be Holy is the initial volume of the first major code of Jewish ethics to be written in the English language. It is a monumental work on the vital topic of personal character and integrity by one of the premier Jewish scholars and thinkers of our time.

With the stated purpose of restoring ethics to its central role in Judaism, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin offers hundreds of examples from the Torah, the Talmud, rabbinic commentaries, and contemporary stories to illustrate how ethical teachings can affect our daily behavior. The subjects dealt with are ones we all encounter. They include judging other people fairly; knowing when forgiveness is obligatory, optional, or forbidden; balancing humility and self-esteem; avoiding speech that shames others; restraining our impulses of envy, hatred, and revenge; valuing truth but knowing when lying is permitted; understanding why God is the ultimate basis of morality; and appreciating the great benefits of Torah study. Telushkin has arranged the book in the traditional style of Jewish codes, with topical chapters and numbered paragraphs. Statements of law are almost invariably followed by anecdotes illustrating how these principles have been, or can be, practiced in daily life. The book can be read straight through to provide a solid grounding in Jewish values, consulted as a reference when facing ethical dilemmas, or studied in a group.

Vast in scope, this volume distills more than three thousand years of Jewish laws and suggestions on how to improve one’s character and become more honest, decent, and just. It is a landmark work of scholarship that is sure to influence the lives of Jews for generations to come, rich with questions to ponder and discuss, but primarily a book to live by.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
I
26
Developing Goodness
37
Knowing Ourselves and Guarding Against Our Weaknesses
54
BASIC VIRTUES AND VICES
66
Challenges to ludging Fairly
83
Becoming a Grateful Person
96
The Obligation to Be Cliccrftil
118
28 Fighting Fairly
272
The Great Evil of Humiliation
276
How to Avoid Shaming Others
280
If Youre Tempted to Humiliate Someone
293
Biblical and Talmudic Perspectives 300
299
Reducing Envy 30
304
HATRED AND Revenue
312
3l The Most Destructive Emotion 311
314

Becoming More Considerate
127
Why Common Sense Is 50 Important
136
Ten Principles of Common Sense lll
141
REPENTANCE
148
Who Needs to Rcpcnt?
150
1 How to Repent
156
Obstacles to Repentance 171
174
When a Great Evil Has Been Done 181
184
Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur
188
FORGIVENESS
189
IS VVhen Obligatory When Optional When Forbidden I96 19 How to Forgive
206
What Humility Is and Why It Is Important
210
Cultivating Ilumility
216
Avoiding Arrogance
233
The Moral Necessity for SelfEsteem
239
Untamed Anger 218
248
Dealing with Angry People _
255
Iustifiable Anger
258
Controlling Anger
262
Breaking the Pattern of llatrcd
318
hen Hatred Is Permissible
325
Lashon Ham and Why It Is So Harmful
332
The Dust of Forbidden Speech 311
344
The Temptations of Gossip
364
When Permitted When Forbidden
372
14 hen to Critieize
380
15 How to Criticize and How Not To
386
Vhen Others Critieize You
393
Becoming More Truthful 103
403
Deceiving Others 117
417
Sanctifying Gods Name in Daily Life 156
469
God as the Basis of Morality I 480
478
ALL THE OTHERS
495
The Benefits of Torah Study
507
Learning and Teaching Torah
513
APPENDIX
521
Bihliogmphy
536
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Joseph Telushkin is a spiritual leader and scholar. He is the author of fifteen books, including Jewish Literacy and The Book of Jewish Values, a senior associate of CLAL, a board member of the Jewish Book Council, and the rabbi of the Los Angeles–based Synagogue for the Performing Arts. He lives in New York City and lectures regularly throughout the United States.

Visit acodeofjewishethics.com for more information and to download a study guide to key ethical issues raised in A Code of Jewish Ethics.


From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information