Jewish Wisdom
October 1, 2007 2:48 PM   Subscribe

Looking for wisdom from Judaism. A while back, someone posted a link to a great essay. It was chock full of Jewish wisdom. I can't remember the context, but I want to say it had to do with success and achievement. As opposed to saying that ego-gratification and success were a bad thing, the essay instead pointed out that there was virtue in doing things for yourself and virtue in aquiring the trappings of success. Anyone want to conjure up a link for me? How about any other essays and articles filled with good Judaic wisdom?
posted by jasondigitized to Religion & Philosophy (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
How bout this?
posted by hermitosis at 3:42 PM on October 1, 2007

there is a notion in Jewish thought that nothing in the world is either good or bad, rather it is all in the use -- whether it is used for positive or negative redefines the virtue itself as either positive or negative.

you may want to check out Simple Words or any Other Pieces by Adin Steinsaltz
posted by prophetsearcher at 3:50 PM on October 1, 2007

I linked to an article entitled "13 Ways to Become a Good Person" which might be what you are looking for. My original link appears to be dead, but this one works.
posted by caddis at 4:31 PM on October 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

Ellie Wiesel is known mainly for Night, his memoir of Auschwitz, but he has a few collections of Hasidic folktales I can only find Souls on Fire on amazon, but I am pretty sure there was at least one more.
posted by shothotbot at 5:39 PM on October 1, 2007

I use all the time. From the home page:

Welcome to
The only free Jewish encyclopedia on the Internet.
This website contains the complete contents of the 12-volume Jewish Encyclopedia, which was originally published between 1901-1906. The Jewish Encyclopedia, which recently became part of the public domain, contains over 15,000 articles and illustrations.

This online version contains the unedited contents of the original encyclopedia. Since the original work was completed almost 100 years ago, it does not cover a significant portion of modern Jewish History (e.g., the creation of Israel, the Holocaust, etc.). However, it does contain an incredible amount of information that is remarkably relevant today.
Chock full of Jewy Goodness.
posted by RussHy at 7:50 PM on October 1, 2007

This is rather an unwieldy question, as the library of Jewish books is enormous and varied.

When someone asks me to give them an English book about Judaism, I usually send them to Abraham Joshua Heschel. The Sabbath and God in Search of Man are both accessible and gorgeous.
posted by kosem at 8:09 AM on October 2, 2007

Have you looked into Pirkei Avot, the tractate of the Mishnah (part of the Talmud) usually translated as "Ethics of the Fathers" or "Wisdom of the Fathers"?

Here's the wikipedia entry:

And here's an English translation of the text:
posted by Juggling Frogs at 11:56 AM on December 18, 2007

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