Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro is the author of Wisdom of the Jewish Sages: A Modern Reading of Pirke Avot and Minyan: Ten Principles for Living a Life of Integrity. He is also an award-winning poet and essayist whose liturgical poems are used in prayer services throughout America. The Way of Solomon draws upon the author's more than 20 years as a rabbi and a business consultant on leadership and personal growth.
In this remarkable translation of Ecclesiastes, joy and clear-eyed vision rather than melancholy are the themes. An example:
"The more you seek security the more you are haunted by insecurity.
The more you desire surety the more you are plagued by change.
The more you pretend to permanence the more you invite suffering.
The more you do for control the less you do for joy."
Many of the truths that shine through these pages are ones Judaism and Christianity hold in common with Buddhism and Taoism. Here is an honest and hopeful view of life that speaks forcefully to our consumer-oriented society where pragmatism and control are dangerous obsessions played out in the home and in the marketplace. Shapiro's commentary on the wisdom of Solomon includes pieces on the emptiness of seeking permanence; the folly of trying to find security in wealth, knowledge, power, or pleasure; ways to reap a harvest of fear; the value of living in the present moment; the hazards of attempting to fit the world into "a neat and understandable package"; and the rewards of savoring the interdependence of all things.