Item #: S328
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The greatness of Judaism lies not only in its structure, its laws and rituals, but in its underlying value system. It is the direction of this value system that drives the halachic bent and traditional lifestyle of Judaism. Each of the six topics discussed - pleasantness, peace, family, Torah scholarship, the land of Israel, and responsibility to others is explained in practical, spiritual and national terms and how each affects Jewish life and history.
Pleasantness - "The ways of the Torah are ways of pleasantness" is not simply a nice phrase we say when a Torah scroll is returned to its ark, but is a commandment for our own behavior. Attaining holiness in Judaism comes from gentle and polite behavior on our part. With stories from Tanach and from such Torah giants as the Chofetz Chaim, we see how we can acquire this admirable trait, and in doing so, we make the world a pleasant place for others as well as for ourselves.
Peace- A state of peace, or inner harmony, is the ideal state for the individual, family, and the Jewish people itself, and the challenge of our lives is to achieve and maintain it. Drawing on examples from Tanach and from his own life, Rabbi Wein analyzes the tension between peace and truth and shows when pacifism is wrong and war is the only solution.
Family - First and foremost, the Jewish people is a family, which means we are deeply bonded even when conflicts arise. Rabbi Wein examines the many tricky situations that can arise within families and advises us as to how we can navigate through them for the ultimate reward of togetherness and peace.
Torah Scholarship - Torah study is both a means to an end and an end in itself. We learn Torah so that we will know how to behave, and we learn it for its own intrinsic value. Rabbi Wein discusses the redemptive power of Torah, both for the people who make a career of learning, and for Jews of all ages and levels, even little children.
The Land of Israel - The Talmud teaches that the Land of Israel is acquired through suffering, and in our present day, it is unfortunately easy to see how. Yet Jewish love and connection to the land is so great that any suffering becomes worthwhile. Citing the halachos that highlight the holiness of the land, Rabbi Wein demonstrates its inextricable link to the Jewish people.
Repsonsibility to Others - Kindness to others is the hallmark of the Jewish people, and with stories from both Tanach and Talmud, Rabbi Wein illustrates our long history of good deeds and charity. From Abraham to Abaye to the present day, Rabbi Wein shows how rock solid is this foundation of our faith.