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The Wisdom of Solomon
6 Lectures

Item #: S110

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Item Description:

The Book of Koheles is one of the most difficult and complicated in the entire Bible. It was nearly excluded from the Tanach by the Rabbis of the Talmud, but its eternal messages are relevant to real life situations today.
In his gentle, lucid and witty style, Rabbi Berel Wein's six lectures on Koheles analyze the wisdom of King Solomon in relation to: happiness, wealth, family, longevity, power, hedonism, knowledge and wisdom.
The realization that faith is the ultimate goal of life is also traced and explained. Koheles is the first and perhaps the last "Guide to the Perplexed" in Jewish thought and philosophy.

Individual lectures:

Introduction - On the surface, the Biblical book of Koheles appears to be full of contradictions, and because of this, the Bais Shammai argued that it should be omitted from the canon of Tanach. They feared that people would glean improper lessons from it. Rabbi Wein traces the roots of the controversy over Koheles and shows how the valuable and holy lessons of the book itself ultimately settled the matter.

Wealth - A person is not defined by what he has in the bank, but the way he handles his money reveals much about his character. Shlomo Ha Melech, author of Koheles, looks at money from two extremes: from the point of view of the world's wealthiest and most powerful king and from the view of an unknown beggar. Wealth and poverty each have spiritual lessons to teach, and by understanding Shlomo's words, we can maximize these lessons no matter which test comes our way.

Happiness - Everybody wants to be happy, but most people depend on external events to keep up their moods. From the Jewish perspective, this mistake guarantees disappointment. Happiness is a state of mind that a person chooses to develop. It is in fact the very basis of spirituality. With the teachings of Koheles and the commentaries of great sages, Rabbi Wein uncovers the secret to living a genuinely happy life.

Hedonism - God wants us to take pleasure in his world, but hedonism, the unbridled pursuit of pleasure, is a sure path to self-destruction. Jews must therefore seek the higher pleasure of giving of ourselves to one another. Unlike hedonism, this is a pleasure that is not transient but satisfies in this world and endures in the World to Come.

Wisdom and Knowledge- Shlomo Ha Melech was the wisest of all men, yet he advises that the first step in wisdom is to be able to say, "I don't know." Only with humility can we open ourselves to wisdom, an inner guard against corruption and the foundation of piety and integrity.

Life and Family - Children are our means to achieving immortality on earth, even more important to a Jew than the hope of Heaven. Yet Shlomo ha Melech's statements on the dichotomy between earthly and heavenly immortality nearly excluded Koheles from the canon of Tanach. Rabbi Wein analyzes this and other key teachings from Koheles, addressing Shlomo's views on family, marriage, and life itself.

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