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To Heal a Fractured World: The Ethics of Responsibility

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To Heal a Fractured World

The Ethics of Responsibility

By Jonathan Sacks

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Format: Paperback / softback, 280 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 January 2009
One of the most respected religious thinkers of our time makes an impassioned plea for the return of religion to its true purpose--as a partnership with God in the work of ethical and moral living.
What are our duties to others, to society, and to humanity? How do we live a meaningful life in an age of global uncertainty and instability? In To Heal a Fractured World, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks offers answers to these questions by looking at the ethics of responsibility. In his signature plainspoken, accessible style, Rabbi Sacks shares with us traditional interpretations of the Bible, Jewish law, and theology, as well as the works of philosophers and ethicists from other cultures, to examine what constitutes morality and moral behavior. "We are here to make a difference," he writes, "a day at a time, an act at a time, for as long as it takes to make the world a place of justice and compassion." He argues that in today's religious and political climate, it is more important than ever to return to the essential understanding that "it is by our deeds that we express our faith and make it real in the lives of others and the world."
To Heal a Fractured World--inspirational and instructive, timely and timeless--will resonate with people of all faiths.

"From the Hardcover edition."

About the Author

Jonathan Sacks has been Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of Great Britain and the Commonwealth since 1991 and has received honorary degrees from universities around the world. He is the award-winning author of a dozen previous books, writes frequently for The Times (London) and other periodicals, and is heard regularly on the BBC. Rabbi Sacks was knighted in 2005. He lives in London. From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews

In this engaging, accessible, insightful, instructive, and delightful book, Sacks (chief rabbi, United Hebrew Congregations of Great Britain & the Commonwealth) explores traditional interpretations of the Bible, Jewish law, and theology, as well as the works of philosophers and ethicists from other cultures, to examine what constitutes morality and moral behavior. He seeks "to honor the image of [God] in other people and thus turn the world into a home for the divine presence" in a book he considers a "personal protest against suicide bombers, religiously motivated terrorists and preachers of hate of whatever faith." Chapters 3-9 set out Judaism's key concepts of social ethics: justice, charity, love-as-action, sanctifying God's name, the ways of peace, and "mending the world" (Tikkun Olam). Interspersed throughout are snippets from other peoples' lives that have inspired Sacks. This brilliant book is not only for Jews but also serves as a moral Jewish voice in the conversation of humankind. Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries. [In June, Sacks was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his services to the Jewish community and interfaith relations.-Ed.]-David B. Levy, Ner Israel Rabbinical Coll. Lib., Baltimore Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Although written by a rabbi, this powerful, biblically based plea for ethical behavior will appeal to non-Jews as well as to Jews. The erudite author, the chief rabbi of Great Britain, contends that all people have to be both ethically and socially responsible, and supports this through examples of people he's met or read about as well as through biblical and Hasidic tales. His analysis of these stories and their lessons is beautifully informed by philosophy, psychology, theology, poetry and literature. Sacks's wide-ranging scholarship is evident in the authorities he cites, including Plato, Karl Marx, Victor Frankl, Joseph B. Soloveitchik, William Wordsworth, Rashi, Maimonides, Jean-Paul Sartre, John Donne, Erich Fromm, Sigmund Freud and many others including Talmudic and rabbinical sources. Sacks claims that he "tried to make the book as simple and readable" as possible, but it is at times somewhat heavy-footed. Patient readers will be rewarded by exposure to a great intellect who demonstrates how his knowledge and experiences have led him to the conclusion that each individual has responsibility "to heal where others harm, mend where others destroy, [and] to redeem evil by turning its negative energies to good." (Oct. 11) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"I have rarely met anyone who combines spirituality, intelligence, wisdom, and compassion in quite the way Dr. Jonathan Sacks does. He has taught me so much about the Abrahamic faiths. He is truly a spiritual Master, which is why I believe he can be called Mahatma, or Great Soul." --Professor Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University "Upon receiving this latest volume by Rabbi Sacks, I appreciated again his well-deserved reputation for marrying high content to elegant style. There are no pious preachments here, and no self-conscious intellectual posturings. To Heal a Fractured World is carefully reasoned yet warm, intellectually engaging, and entirely quotable." --Dr. Norman Lamm, Chancellor, Yeshiva University From the Hardcover edition. " I have rarely met anyone who combines spirituality, intelligence, wisdom, and compassion in quite the way Dr. Jonathan Sacks does. He has taught me so much about the Abrahamic faiths. He is truly a spiritual Master, which is why I believe he can be called Mahatma, or Great Soul." --Professor Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University " Upon receiving this latest volume by Rabbi Sacks, I appreciated again his well-deserved reputation for marrying high content to elegant style. There are no pious preachments here, and no self-conscious intellectual posturings. To Heal a Fractured World is carefully reasoned yet warm, intellectually engaging, and entirely quotable." --Dr. Norman Lamm, Chancellor, Yeshiva University "From the Hardcover edition."

EAN: 9780805211962
ISBN: 0805211969
Publisher: Schocken Books
Dimensions: 20.47 x 13.06 x 1.88 centimetres (0.25 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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