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Proverbs: Annotated & Explained (SkyLight Illuminations) Paperback – August 1, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1594733109 ISBN-10: 1594733104 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Clear, engaging and instructive ... a valuable teaching."
Union of Liberal & Progressive Synagogues Newsletter

About the Author

Rami Shapiro, a renowned teacher of spirituality across faith traditions and a noted theologian, is a popular speaker on the topics of religion, theology and spirituality. He is author of the award-winning The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice; Recovery―The Sacred Art: The Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice and Hasidic Tales: Annotated and Explained; among other books.

Rami Shapiro is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Writing―The Sacred Art: Beyond the Page to Spiritual Practice
  • Stop Playing God: 12 Steps as Spiritual Practice
  • Biblical Wisdom for Post-biblical Times: An Exploration of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Job
  • The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Cultivating Compassion in Daily Life
  • Hasidic Wisdom: An Exploration of Hasidic Storytelling, Theology and Contemplative Practice
  • Saints and Sages: Biblical Prophets, Ancient Rabbis and the Building of a Just World
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Product Details

  • Series: SkyLight Illuminations
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: SkyLight Paths; 1 edition (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594733104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594733109
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,144,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

RABBI RAMI

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award winning author of over two dozen books on religion and spirituality. He received rabbinical ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and holds a PH.D. from Union Graduate School. A congregational rabbi for 20 years, Rabbi Rami currently co-directs One River Wisdom School (oneriverwisdomschool.com), blogs at rabbirami.blogspot.com, writes a regular column for Spirituality and Health magazine called Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler, and hosts the weekly Internet radio show, How to be a Holy Rascal on Unity On-line Radio (www.unity.fm/program/howtobeaholyrascal). His newest book is Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent (SkyLight Paths). Rami can be reached via his website, rabbirami.com


"To me, religions are like languages: no language is true or false; all languages are of human origin; each language reflects and shapes the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or say as well in another; and the more languages you learn, the more nuanced your understanding of life becomes. Judaism is my mother tongue, yet in matters of the spirit I strive to be multi-lingual. In the end, however, the deepest language of the soul is silence. - Rabbi Rami Shapiro


THE RIVER WISDOM SCHOOL

A congregational rabbi for 20 years, Rabbi Rami currently co-directs One River Wisdom School (oneriverwisdomschool.com) and Holy Rascals Foundation (holyrascals.com). He also directs the Spiritually Independent Network and Lech Lecha, a spiritual mentor training program for the spiritually independent. The website spirituallyindependent.com should be up and running soon.

SPIRITUAL HEALTH MAGAZIN

Rami writes a regular column for Spirituality and Health magazine called Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler, and hosts the weekly Internet radio show, How to be a Holy Rascal on Unity On-line Radio unity.fm/program/howtobeaholyrascal.com. His newest book is Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent (SkyLight Paths).

One River Wisdom School meets three times each year to explore the perennial wisdom of the world's religions. Our next retreat is April 4-6, 2014 at St. Mary's Retreat Center in Sewanee, TN.


HOLY RASCALS REVIVAL

Holy Rascals Revival is a joyous celebration of spiritual subversion. Our next revival is in Portland, OR April 25-27, 2014.

SPIRITUALLY INDEPENDENT RETREAT

Spiritually Independent Retreat is Rabbi Rami's workshop based on his book Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent.

LECH LECHA

Lech Lecha, an 18-month spiritual mentor training program for the spiritually independent, is a work in progress. Details forthcoming.

SOUNDS TRUE

Based on Rabbi Rami's Guide to Forgiveness & sponsored by SoundsTrue, The Forgiveness Challenge begins January 29th.

Listen to Tami Simon's interview with Rami on forgiveness:
http://www.soundstrue.com/weeklywisdom/.


USIC, THE CARRIER OF INTENTION IN 49 JEWISH PRAYERS

Rabbi Rami will be appearing in the Creating Calm Network Publishing Group's upcoming anthology, Music, The Carrier of Intention in 49 Jewish Prayers.




Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is a religious relativist, not a fan of halakah, and tends to exist on the margins of Jewish thought and ideas, a place he seems extremely comfortable to dwell.

This shows in his translation and annotation of the book of Proverbs. Shapiro is very loose in this translation (as he is in all of his translations) and this is purposefully so; he seeks to shift the emphasis on certain words and phrases to advance his non-dualist view of Judaism. He does this in a long line of Jewish translators who produced "targums" translations in Aramaic that expressed the agenda of the translators and their community.

Shapiro also shows us, in this work and others, how varied views of God and reality are in the canonical books of the Hebrew bible. The Bible is not a unified book, but an anthology about God, human beings, and the world. Proverbs is not overly fixated on God. It is a practical book of ethics, meant to guide people not through mitzvot or divine intervention, but through the application of their own minds and actions. Shapiro sees this as a universal mode of seeking, common to many cultures. It is a way to be a good person without the specifics of the Torah. However, he does say that the Torah accomplishes much the same goal, but only in the limited realm or world of the Jews.

This in itself is an interesting idea, and I hope Rabbi Shapiro explores it more in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Israel Drazin VINE VOICE on November 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
Readers will benefit from this book whether they read and even studied the biblical book Proverbs before. This is one of more than two dozen books published in the SkyLight Illumination Series in which religious books, or parts of them, are translated or paraphrased anew with comprehensive easy to read introductions that explains the books and with texts on right hand pages and annotations and explanations directly opposite on the left. The series includes the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, the Qur'an, The Book of Mormon, and more.

In his introduction, Rabbi Shapiro tells readers, among much else, that Proverbs is, along with Ecclesiastes and Job, "Wisdom Literature." They focus on the use of human intelligence rather than reliance on God. Jews were not the only authors of Wisdom Literature; we have Egyptian compositions that are similar. Tradition states that Proverbs was composed by the Israelite King Solomon in the tenth century BCE, but many scholars are convinced that it was written by various writers and edited about the seventh century BCE.

Proverbs contains seven different collections of sayings that were blended into this single book. Book one, in nine chapters, has nine discussions that emphasize the importance of relying on wisdom. For example, in the middle of a discussion, the book states: "When wisdom is embraced, righteousness, justice, and fairness are known." Book two, from 10:1 to 22:16, contains the first collection of short sayings, usually as brief as two lines, about wisdom such as "wisdom alone brings riches, worrying never improves a situation." Book three, from 22:17 to 24:22, as its title proclaims, has thirty precepts about wisdom, some short and some longer, such as, "Turn your heart to wisdom and your eyes will be drawn to the good.
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By Rollel on November 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the purpose and message of Proberbs. Anyone who wants to go I depth. It is also a great book to read and capture the message for moral, righteous and a life of love.

This is an excellent book to read everyday whose message was designed to learn and live.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book answers many questions about Proverbs. While he takes some liberty with the Hebrew he stresses the point of Non-duality which is a central belief of his theology. He does an excellent job with his annotations as he clarifies his points. The book is easy reading for anyone who wished to enhance their knowledge of Proverbs.
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By juanita rizzo on September 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every once in a great while, if one is lucky and looks hard enough, we can find an excellent teacher and Rabbi Rami Shaprio is that for me. I am wowed by all of his books and would love to study with him in person. Need I say anymore?
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Proverbs: Annotated & Explained (SkyLight Illuminations)
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