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Five Minutes on Mondays: Finding Unexpected Purpose, Peace, and Fulfillment at Work 1st Edition

76 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0137007783
ISBN-10: 0137007787
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Five Minutes on Mondaysis a gold mine of enrichment…It is an easy read with a deep and profound impact.”

Martin Rutte, Chair of the Board, The Centre for Spirituality and the Workplace, Saint Mary's University, co-author ofNew York Timesbusiness best-seller,Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work


“Lurie's wise and wonderful book should grace every karmic capitalist's bookshelf. He reminds us that finding a sense of meaning and purpose in what we do may align us with unimagined success and a profound awakening to who we are.”

Chip Conley, CEO, Joie de Vivre Hotels


“Read Lurie's suggestions to elevate your spirit-then bring that spirit to your work. The promise is; both you and your client will be more fulfilled, more satisfied, and more engaged in your business relationship.”

John King, Senior Partner, CultureSync, and coauthor ofTribal Leadership


Five Minutes on Mondaysis a book of savvy and surprises. Lurie offers a tasting menu of wisdom, counsel, insight, psychology, and wonderful stories. But be warned, these little servings will last on your palate far longer than the five minutes it takes to consume them.”

Peter Pitzele, Ph.D., author ofOur Fathers' Wells: A Personal Encounter with the Myths of GenesisandScripture Windows: Toward a Practice of Bibliodrama


“Lurie's book is a gem-a must-read for anyone who works at their faith and believes in their work. Business professionals of all kinds and from all religious traditions will find Lurie's light touch and real-world applications helpful as they strive to succeed without selling their soul.” 

David W. Miller, Ph.D., Director, Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative, and President, The Avodah Institute 


     Imagine the leaders of one of New York City's top real-estate firms coming together every Monday morning to hear…the moral and spiritual thoughts of a Rabbi.

     Imagine them returning, week after week…coming to eagerly anticipate those five minutes as a moment of uncommon peace in the world's most brutally competitive environment.  

     Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall? To hear the paths Alan Lurie traced for his listeners, how he helped them bring together their spiritual and business lives, the sacred and the profane? Five Minutes on Mondays compiles these talks for the first time, sharing Lurie's deep and profound inspiration on the challenges we all face-at work, and in life.

     Lurie draws on millennia of philosophy, theology, and science to help us answer our deepest questions, comfort our deepest yearnings, and become better people-more connected to each other, and to the Greater Purpose.


• Prosper while keeping your integrity

• Balance faith, honor, and ambition

• Use your workplace as your moral and spiritual “gymnasium”

• Find deeper meaning and purpose in your work

• Face your fears and failures, and keep going

• Gain real respect-and give it

• Live one authentic life-at work, and everywhere else


About the Author

Rabbi Alan Lurie has a unique background. He is currently a Managing Director at Grubb & Ellis, a national real estate service firm, following a 25-year career as a licensed architect. He is also a non-denominational ordained Rabbi, teaching, leading prayer services, and writing on issues of faith and religion. This combination of meeting the demands of the business world while attending to the needs of the spirit gives Alan both insight into and access to a diverse community. His wife, Shirona, is a Jewish Cantor, singer, and accomplished songwriter. They live in Rye, New York.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (March 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137007787
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137007783
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #892,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Srikumar S. Rao VINE VOICE on September 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Alan Lurie is a Rabbi and thus - I presume - has spent many hours pondering deep philosophical questions and thinking about the meaning of life. It shows. While he may not have any answers for you, he does have questions and observations that will knock your own thinking machine off its habitual paths and and get you thinking about your own life and dilemmas in fresh ways that enable you to discover the answers you are seeking.

For example, he tells the story of the philosophy professor who posits that the true test of any philosophical belief itself is paradoxical. In other words the belief must be internally self-contradictory. Initially this seems perverse, even stupid. As you begin to ponder the implications - and he helps you travel some of this path - you realize that this is actually very profound. In fact, there are entire schools of Eastern practice based on wrestling with the conundrums of paradox utill the thinking mind simply gives up. That opens up the way to a deeper form of knowing and is the point of the exercise.

And he has the droll tale of how all of us are graduates of MSU - making stuff up. And this is precisely what we do. We tell ourselves stories all the time and start believing in those stories and they gradually construct the world we live in. Change the story you tell yourself and your world alters.

There is much wisdom here. This is not a book to be read. Take it like a vitamin pill - a small dose every day.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By ServantofGod on October 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The first few passages are well written and concise, with great stories, quotes and substance. So I picked this book, only to find the quality dropped real fast. His words were most helpful and charming when he told stories of the Jewish Tradition and say, the "Eureka!" one of Archimedes. Pity that the author had not taken full advantage of his wisdom and knowledge as a Rabbi to open the eyes and minds of his audience. Actually I could not recall much of what I had read at all. Readable, but not outstanding as a self help or inspirational book.

p.s. Below please find some of my favorite passages for your reference.

Of all the skills of leadership, listening is the most valuable - and least understood. Most captains of industry listen only sometimes, and they remain ordinary leaders. But a few, teh great ones, never stop listening. That's how they get word before anyone else of unseen problems and opportunities. - Peter Nulty pg46

Seven qualities characterize the fool and the wise man:
1. The wise man does not speak before someon wiser than him.
2. He does not break in to his fellow's speech.
3. He is not in a rush to reply.
4. He asks what is relevant and replies to the point.
5. He speaks of first things first and last things last.
6. Of what he has not heard he says, "I have not heard."
7. And he acknowledges what is true.
The opposites apply to the fool. - Pirkei Avot pg50

Wisdom comes from the basic humility of accepting that we do not know everything, that others know things that we do not, and that life involves continual learning. - Pirkei Avot pg53

The true test of any philosophical belief is whether that belief is itself paradoxical.....There is nothing permanent except change. pg99

While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior. - George Bernard Shaw pg126
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey H. Simon on April 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
These are amazing essays on life, attitude and tolerance.
They are inspirational and enjoyable.
Alan Lurie is a gifted thinker and writer.
Can I give it 6 Stars?
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Elisa Robyn on August 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Five Minutes on Monday is quiet gem. I have not seen it on any lists, but it should be. The author is an architect turned rabbi turned manager. He brings a wide breadth of knowledge and experience to his quiet Monday insights. The book is a compilation of Monday morning talks a business team. While many of the insights come from the Jewish tradition, they are peppered with stories and concepts from philosophy, science and other religious traditions. The tone of the book is very soft, encouraging reflection on the deeper meanings of the ideas.

The topics range from justice to creativity to resolving conflicts to being authentic while facing fears and cultivating happiness. Quiet and powerful. I started to just read through the book, but found that randomly opening it and reading a bite-size section was better. There is an index that is very helpful in finding pertinent themes. Even the short highlighted quotes are useful. For example, I just randomly opened the book to this one:" With experience and guidance, we discover that mistakes can, in fact, often be turned around and transformed into a positive growth experience."

The chapters are short since each was a short Monday talk. I recommend reading one at a time, perhaps daily, and spending some time with the thoughts presented. Again, it is a quiet gem. It does not loudly shout about transformation, the power to change or our need to heal the planet. The truths are simple, direct, and applicable to individual life. The chapters left me thoughtfully inspired...a nice feeling.

I recommend this book to anyone in a leadership position needing some insight, anyone wanting to deepen their daily reflective practice, anyone wanting some quiet inspiration, and anyone interested in applying Jewish (or other) philosophy in a mainstream setting.
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