The Book of Proverbs: A Social Justice Commentary

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ISBN: 978-0-88123-376-6

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By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

The Book of Proverbs, attributed to King Solomon, is a profound collection of Jewish wisdom, song, and inspiration. Yet to contemporary readers, the text can appear vague, ambiguous, and contradictory. In this refreshing and relevant commentary, Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz challenges us to find modern meaning in this ancient text. Using his signature blend of social justice practice and Jewish thought from throughout history, Rabbi Yanklowitz shows how the words of Proverbs are strikingly pertinent to issues we face today. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Rabbi Yanklowitz explores such topics as income inequality, feminism, animal rights, environmentalism, and many more. The author's commentary is paired with the full text of Proverbs--in both Hebrew and an updated, gender-accurate translation--so readers can glean their own insights.

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Filled with well-known aphorisms, Proverbs is among the Bible's most morally rich books, yet rarely is it analyzed in depth. Now Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, one of American Jewry's leading social justice thinkers, brilliantly weaves together textual analysis, traditional commentaries, contemporary views, and powerful examples in applying key passages to some of our most vexing twenty-first-century social and personal challenges. This gem of a book will be an invaluable resource to rabbis (indeed, clergy of any faith) and teachers for sermons and classes, even while inspiring social justice activists across a broad political spectrum. -- Rabbi David Saperstein, Director Emeritus, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Proverbs is a treasure of Jewish wisdom that is a delight to read on its own terms, and I'm glad that Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz has written a thoughtful, moving, and modern commentary that will enlighten readers of all faiths and creeds. -- Senator Joseph Lieberman

You hold in your hands a commentary on the Book of Proverbs, that classic biblical collection of Jewish wisdom. But this volume is so much more. This is a book about contemporary life, a book about the Torah of our own lives as well as the Torah of tradition, a book that nourishes and challenges us by offering new ways of thinking about the questions we wrestle with as modern people. -- From the Foreword by Rabbi Laura Geller, Rabbi Emerita, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills

Rabbi Yanklowitz (The Book of Jonah), president of Jewish learning center Valley Beit Midrash, delivers a superior analysis of the Book of Proverbs. Citing an eclectic range of sources that includes rabbis, psychologists, and historical anecdotes, the author studies the proverbs verse by verse and unpacks their wisdom on "relationships, power, humility, truth, and the reconciliation of the manifold complexities of life." ... Yanklowitz's lucid exegesis succeeds in transforming these "vague" verses "shrouded with literary ambiguity" into accessible, rousing calls to action. This progressive reading of proverbs edifies.
-- Publishers Weekly

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ISBN 978-0-88123-376-6
Copyright © 2022
6" x 9"
Page Count: 472