To Heal a Fractured World: The Ethics of Responsibility

Jonathan Sacks, Author
Jonathan Sacks, Author . Schocken $25 (280p) ISBN 978-0-8052-4241-6
Reviewed on: 08/29/2005
Release date: 10/01/2005
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-06278-8
Hardcover - 280 pages - 978-0-7735-3032-4
Paperback - 280 pages - 978-0-8052-1196-2
Hardcover - 280 pages - 978-0-8264-8622-6
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-8264-8039-2
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-375-42519-6
Paperback - 388 pages - 978-965-526-024-3
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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)

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