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Life Arts    H4'ed 11/7/20

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks' 56 Life-Changing Ideas (REVIEW ESSAY)

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National Poverty Hearing: Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks
National Poverty Hearing: Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks
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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) November 7, 2020: The late prolific English Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (1948-2020) has now published a second new book in 2020 titled Judaism's Life-Changing Ideas: A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible. In it, he identifies 56 life-changing ideas in the 54 weekly readings from the Five Books of Moses:

(1) Genesis (pages 1-62; 12 unnumbered chapters).

(2) Exodus (pages 63-123; 11 unnumbered chapters).

(3) Leviticus (pages 125-184; 10 unnumbered chapters).

(4) Numbers (pages 185-242; 10 unnumbered chapters).

(5) Deuteronomy (pages 243-307; 11 unnumbered chapters).

Even though Rabbi Sacks keeps the Sabbath and rests from work on the Sabbath, he has insomnia and is an indefatigable worker/educator/writer the other days of each week. Good for him!

In Rabbi Sacks' earlier book series on Covenant & Conversation: A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible (2009-2019), he has devoted a separate volume to each of the Five Books of Moses:

(1) Genesis: The Book of Beginnings (2009).

(2) Exodus: The Book of Redemption (2010).

(3) Leviticus: The Book of Holiness (2015).

(4) Numbers: The Wilderness Years (2017).

(5) Deuteronomy: Renewal of the Sinai Covenant (2019).

So we can think of the five major subsections of his new 2020 book Judaism's Life-Changing Ideas: A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible as representing his further distillations of thought about the Five Books of Moses in the 54 weekly readings. At the end of each of the 54 unnumbered chapters, Rabbi Sacks numbers each life-changing idea and repeats it. So if you wanted to, you could peak at the end of each chapter and read the life-changing idea before you read the chapter.

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; Ph.D.in higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)
 

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