This is a beautifully written and inspiring work. It is rich in personal anecdote, story and example. It teaches the essence of Jewish ethics as a way of living in the modern and post- modern world. Rabbi Sacks speaks much in this book about responsibility. He speaks much about the world having gone to far in concentrating on individual development alone, without demanding connection and contribution to family and community. His message is that the Jewish covenant with God is one for recreating the world as better place, for improving the situation for others. He is concerned here with social justice and with righteousness. He believes that the seperation of the ethical from the religious is like separating two different parts of the brain that are meant to work together. He believes the Jewish imperative is to be both holy and good. And also he teaches this means finding a way to make tikkun olam and improve the well- being of all of mankind.
Rabbi Sacks tells us inspiring stories of people who have suffered and somehow managed to in that suffering still give to others. He tells us about many of the people who do goodness and acts of kindness for others modestly. He says that when he as a young person a young Rabbi first began to officiate at funerals he discovered that what relatives wanted said about the person who was gone, was nothing about their wealth power achievement in the world, but rather about their kindness and goodness to others.
His message is that each individual human being can by being good to others help mend the brokenness of the world. It is not that he is naive or believes that all the problems of this world, many of which he discusses in detail in this book can be instantly solved by such goodness. But rather that such goodness and giving to others cannot only help make it better for them, but can be the key to finding and making meaning in one's own life.
This book is a sound sane sensible ethical and moral guide for humanity.
An outstanding work but a teacher who understands that it is better to love than to fear, and better to light a single candle than to suffer in the darkness.