THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF CHARACTER: Essential Advice for Living an Honorable, Ethical, Honest Life

Joseph Telushkin, Author . Bell Tower $25 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4000-4509-9

Beliefnet.com, a multi-faith virtual community, features articles and columns on spirituality, religion, morality, faith and beliefs. As one of its many contributors, Telushkin writes an ethical advice column in which he responds to letters from people with questions about personal and moral dilemmas. This book gathers together about 80 of these letters, along with Telushkin's thoughtful and sometimes controversial responses. The rabbi and author of Jewish Literacy and The Book of Jewish Values often cites biblical and rabbinical sources for his opinions. Here, the issues he addresses are grouped under nine headings: family, children, "between friends," animals, work, money, medical ethics, everyday dilemmas and community. This broad range of problems will resonate with readers, who will likely recognize many of their own ethical concerns, like the challenges of being completely honest. Telushkin also takes up seemingly mundane issues, such as smoking, being overweight, giving to beggars and responding to telemarketers. Each topic receives a serious and studious answer that points the way to ethical behavior. The collection is preceded by a helpful introductory chapter in which Telushkin sets forth his list of "the 10 prerequisites for doing good together with an explanation of why these values matter so much." In all, Telushkin's book is a useful manual for distinguishing between right and wrong in contemporary society. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/14/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
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