How The Talmud Can Change Your Life: Surprisingly Modern Advice From a Very Old Book
Liel Leibovitz is Editor at Large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthdox and daily Talmud podcast Take One.
A witty and wide-ranging exploration of a book that has perplexed and delighted people for centuries: the Talmud.
For numerous centuries, the Talmud―an extraordinary work of Jewish ethics, law, and tradition―has compelled readers to grapple with how to live a good life. Full of folk legends, bawdy tales, and rabbinical repartee, it is inspiring, demanding, confounding, and thousands of pages long. As Liel Leibovitz enthusiastically explores the Talmud, what has sometimes been misunderstood as a dusty and arcane volume becomes humanity’s first self-help book. How the Talmud Can Change Your Life contains sage advice on an unparalleled scope of topics, which includes communicating with your partner, dealing with grief, and being a friend.
Leibovitz guides readers through the sprawling text with all its humor, rich insights, compulsively readable stories, and multilayered conversations. Contemporary discussions framed by Talmudic philosophy and psychology draw on subjects ranging from Weight Watchers and the Dewey decimal system to the lives of Billie Holiday and C. S. Lewis. Chapters focus on fundamental human experiences―the mind-body problem, the power of community, the challenges of love―to illuminate how the Talmud speaks to our daily existence. As Leibovitz explores some of life’s greatest questions, he also delivers a concise history of the Talmud itself, explaining the process of its lengthy compilation and organization.
With infectious passion and candor, Leibovitz brilliantly displays how the Talmud’s wisdom reverberates for the modern age and how it can, indeed, change your life.