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New volumes encourage spiritual thought.
Chicago Jewish Star
ewish New Year traditions do
not include New Year's reso-
lutions, made with good
intent annually on Dec. 31,
likely broken or forgotten shortly
Instead, Jews have an entire period
of time given over to introspection,
to examination and prayer, through
which we seek to better ourselves, to
grow as individuals.
As each of us looks closely at our
past misdeeds and shortcomings, as
we face ourselves openly and honest-
ly, thoughts must be turned to action.
Personal awareness and acknowledg-
ment is only a first step; it must then
be transformed into behavior.
The Rosh Hashanah-Yom Kippur
period is the framework to bring this
Here are several newly published
books that can contribute to this
What's right and what's wrong? This
used to be a relatively simple ques-
tion, but today it's become complicat-
ed as boundaries are stretched and
the clear line between the two is
As for living an ethical life, who
even thinks about it?
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, for one,
and this prolific author — always
with something worthwhile to say —
has tackled the subject in his newest
book, published this month in good
time for the holidays.
The Ten Commandments of
T H E. TEN
Tower; $25) is
not New Age-y
philosophy or a
it's about the daily living of an ethi-
cal, moral life.
Rabbi Telushkin devotes just a
short section to elucidating his com-
mandments of character, and the rest
to their practical application in every-
day life situations.
His first commandment is "Know
your weaknesses", his 10th is "Admit
when you have done wrong, seek for-
giveness and don't rationalize bad
behavior," and in between are "Be
fair," (commandment #4), "Be grate-
(#7) and "Exercise common sense"
Perhaps these sound too mundane
or simplistic to be inspiring — we
wish for noble, elevated language.
Instead, what Rabbi Telushkin has
done is to strip away the rationaliza-
tions and excuses that too often bury
or render unrecognizable the core val-
ues. To this he adds the why and the
how they should guide our decisions,
our judgments and our behavior.
Key, based on the teaching in the
biblical book of Genesis, is Rabbi
Telushkin's third commandment:
"Treat all people with kindness, and
with the understanding that they, like
you, are made 'in God's image."'
Now there's a way to begin the new
Another rabbi who offers practical
in their daily
The Lord Is My Shepherd (Alfred A.
Knopf; $19.95), Rabbi Kushner, who
is scheduled to appear at this year's
Jewish Book Fair 8:15 p.m.
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May the New Year bring to
all our friends and family
health, joy, prosperity and
everything good in life.
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Phone: (248) 737-4662
WISHING THE COMMUNITY
A HAPPY, HEALTH? NEW TEAR
From the Staff at
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Applegate Square • 29783 Northwestern • Southfield, MI 48034 •
on page 126