Edward Hoffman is an associate professor of psychology at Yeshiva University in New York and author of numerous books on Kabbalah and Jewish thought. In this enlightening work, he presents the central ideas and ideals in the writings of Maimonides (1138 - 1204), a Jewish scholar, physician, philosopher, rabbinic thinker, and communal leader. His insights on ethics have been central in Judaism and his many books on health, medicine, and philosophy have influenced countless readers through the centuries. Hoffman divides Maimonides' work into eight thematic categories:

• Understanding Human Personality
• On Becoming a Sage
• All Learning Is Sacred
• Spiritual Awakening and Prophecy
• Social Relations and Leadership
• The Way of Health and Longevity
• Foundations of Judaism
• Visionary Tales

Here is a sampler:

Rules for Character Development
"There is no greater nobility than ethical idealism and no more glorious inheritance than trustworthiness. (Letters on Ethics to Son, Abraham)"

The True Heroes
"Those engaged in study and in absorbing philosophical habits and the moral teachings of the Torah acquire strength for their souls. They are the true heroes, as their souls are not subject to change and get very little agitated. (The Presentation of Youth, chapter 5)"

Spiritual Slumber
"If we desire to attain human perfection — and to be truly people of God — we must awaken from our sleep. (The Guide for the Perplexed, book 3, chapter 52)"

Watch Your Words
"Weigh every word before uttering it, for once articulated, it cannot be withdrawn. (Letter on Ethics to Son, Abraham)"

Experiencing the Divine
"I have shown you that the radiance that emanates from God onto us is the link that joins us to God. It is within your power to strengthen that bond if you so choose — or to weaken it gradually until it breaks, if you prefer that. It will only become strong when you employ it in the love of God and seek that love. It will be weakened when you direct your thoughts to other things. (The Guide for the Perplexed, book 3, chapter 51)"