According to Solomon Schimmel, a professor of Jewish education and psychology at Hebrew College in Massachusetts, the seven deadly sins — pride, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, greed, and sloth — are at the core of today's private and public vices. Many major problems — low self-esteem, racism, addiction, stress, depression, and suicide — stem from "our refusal to master our physical and psychological impulses."

Schimmel believes that the moral traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Graeco-Roman philosophy can provide mental health professionals with insights into these vices and guidelines for controlling them. The illustrative material the author has unearthed is impressive and practical. Schimmel makes a good case for using these moral reflections to enhance our understanding of human nature.