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Ethics of the Sages: Pirke Avot (Skylight Illuminations) [Paperback]

By Rami Shapiro (Translator)
Our Price $ 14.44  
Retail Value $ 16.99  
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Item Number 390435  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   145
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 31, 2006
Publisher   Skylight Paths Publishing
ISBN  1594732078  
EAN  9781594732072  

Availability  102 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 25, 2016 01:00.
Usually ships within one to two business days from Fort Wayne, IN.
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Item Description...
At the heart of Judaism is an ethical imperative to live life from your true self, as the image and likeness of God. To do this, you must see the greatness of God manifest in all things, and therefore engage each moment with grace, humility, and justice. This imperative flowers in the words of the early Rabbis (250 BCE-250 CE), who captured God's call to be holy in Pirke Avot, a collection of pithy sayings on how best to live an ethical life. This engaging introduction to the wisdom sayings of the rabbinic sages puts you in direct conversation with them, allowing the sages to speak directly to you about what matters in life and how to live it with dignity. With fresh, contemporary translation and provocative commentary, Rabbi Rami Shapiro focuses on the central themes in this Jewish wisdom compendium-study, kindness, compassion. He clarifies the rabbinic proverbs and parables in order to expose the ethical principles at their root. By recalling the ancient voices of the rabbinic sages, he shows us the contemporary significance of their timeless wisdom and distills Pirke Avot not as a book about ethics but as a practical guide to living ethically today. Now you can experience the wisdom of the early Rabbis even if you have no previous knowledge of Judaism or rabbinic literature. This SkyLight Illuminations edition presents the ethical teachings of the rabbinic sages, with insightful yet unobtrusive commentary that conveys Pirke Avot's core challenge of God to the Jewish people, and through them all humanity: We are to be holy as God is holy. We are to be, in a human way, what God is in a divine way.

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More About Rami Shapiro

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Rami Shapiro has been a congregational rabbi for 20 years, is currently an adjunct professor of religious studies at Middle Tennessee State University, and directs One River, a not-for-profit educational foundation. He is the author of "Hasidic Tales: Annotated and Explained," "The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness," and "The Way of Solomon." He lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Rami Shapiro has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Art of Spiritual Living
  2. SkyLight Illuminations

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality   [2394  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy   [1417  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Theology   [282  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Good, not the best...  Jan 28, 2008
This book is very good, but at some point, the interpretations are very repetitive...maybe some more depth would have made this book excellent.
Recommended especially for Judaic studies shelves and reading lists, as well as for personal study and enlightenment.  Feb 3, 2007
Translated by Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Ethics of the Sages Annotated & Explained presents wisdom sayings of the early rabbinic sages (250 BCE - 250 CE) collected in the classic "Pirke Avot" with extensive facing-page commentary that clarifies and explains the meaning of every segment. For example, passage 3:13 reads "And he said, / If you bring joy to others, God rejoices in you. / If you bring no joy to others, God does not rejoice in you." The corresponding annotation reads, "Better even than the pursuit of wisdom is the bringing of joy. Wisdom can bring you to the knowledge of God; joy brings you into the presence of God." An introduction, comments on the translation, very brief biographical sketches of the rabbis quoted, a glossary, and a suggested reading list round out this modernized compilation of pithy sayings that vastly transcend their era. Recommended especially for Judaic studies shelves and reading lists, as well as for personal study and enlightenment.
Expressed wisdom  Nov 15, 2006
As I've said in another review, Rami Shapiro's opus is uneven. While THE WAY OF SOLOMON and OPEN SECRETS are standouts, others have seemed more facile or more craft, perhaps, than art.

Rami's recent work with Skylight Illuminations has been consistently good, but with ETHICS OF THE SAGES he has achieved a masterly integration of vision and material with a firm confidence in method and an equally firm control of presentation.

ETHICS OF THE SAGES is actually Rami's second encounter with the Pirke Avot. An earlier book, WISDOM OF THE JEWISH SAGES, is also an interpretative rendering, but unlike the newer work which aims for a crisper translation with the interpretation on a facing page, WISDOM reads Rami's interpretations directly into the text. WISDOM is still a valuable book though, and it gains from being read side-by-side with ETHICS.

In ETHICS, Rami's singular emphasis on principle over practice coupled with uncompromising non-dualism -- used to such great effect in HASIDIC TALES, THE HEBREW PROPHETS, and THE DIVINE FEMININE -- reaches a new height with this clear and compelling post-modern midrash on a classic ethical tractate.

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