The Wisdom of Solomon and Us: The Quest for Meaning, Morality, and a Deeper Relationship with God

Marc D. Angel. Jewish Lights, $18.99 trade paper (200p) ISBN 978-1-58023-855-7
Angel (Maimonides, Spinoza, and Us) successfully parses excerpts from the biblical books of Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, and the Song of Songs to present a traditional but intellectually honest approach to the most important questions of life. He begins with the traditional rabbinic view that these three books reflect different developmental stages in the wisdom of the biblical King Solomon. However, though the prevailing opinion is that Ecclesiastes was the work of Solomon's cynical old age, Angel adopts the view of a 16th-century rabbi—that Ecclesiastes was the youthful work of the king as he was striving after life's meaning. This was followed in Solomon's prime by the morally focused Proverbs, and then the spiritual longing of the allegorical Song of Songs in his old age. Based on this ordering, Angel constructs a three-tiered approach to exploring the question of how one may lead a meaningful, ethical, and spiritually connected life. Even those who don't believe that the biblical King Solomon was the author of these books can nevertheless appreciate the wisdom contained in Angel's volume, gleaned and clarified by study over the course of a vibrant rabbinic career. This analysis will appeal to Jews and non-Jews seeking answers to some of life's most basic and sticky questions. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2016
Release date: 05/01/2016
Genre: Religion
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-58023-860-1
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-1-68336-455-9
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