"Ethics is like a cool rain which extinguishes the fires of attachment, hatred, and anger within you," the Dalai Lama has observed. In Judaism, piety and goodness are inextricably linked. The way we treat others is a matter of supreme importance since every human being bears the image of God.
In this rich smorgasbord of advice and wise counsel, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of Jewish Literacy and spiritual leader of the Synagogue for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles, presents commentary on ethical living for six days of the week and a review on the Sabbath. Using material from Jewish tradition, the author covers relationships, marriage and child rearing, work, and moral issues of all types. This is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to develop a daily spiritual practice of introspection, cultivating goodness, and serving others.
I was especially impressed with Rabbi Telushkin's practical suggestions on giving cheerfully, saying blessings, judging the whole of a person favorably, rooting out groundless hatred, being kind to strangers, keeping far from falsehood, and trying not to waste the time of others by being late. There is plenty of helpful material here for families. For example, the author suggests: "One way to achieve more happiness is to declare a temporary moratorium on complaining. . . . A household that goes for a day or a week without complaining will be a pleasanter place in which to live. By declaring a 'complaining fast,' people will have the space to focus on those aspects of their lives for which they are grateful."