Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Ecclesiastes

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Two thousdand, three hundred years ago an unnamed Hebrew sage known only as Koheleth, the Teacher, rocked the ancient Jewish world with a critique of society that shattered conventional notions of God, piety, politics and power. Speaking to a world not unlike our own – a world of increasing disparity between the haves and the have-nots, where corruption is rampant from the king to the courts, where the good suffer and the wicked prosper and where religion posits an idea of God that excuses the brutality of men – Koheleth offers a radically new view of life and how best to live it. Beginning with its opening broadside: "e;Hevel havalim!"e; – not futility or vanity as most translations would have it, but "e;breath, vapour and impermanence,"e; ECCLESIASTES teaches you how to live in a world where nothing lasts and justice is illusory; a world devoted to accumulating power, wealth, pleasure and even knowledge that leaves you drowning in anxiety and needless suffering. Neither revelation nor prophecy, ECCLESIASTES is a rational and counter-cultural guide to living with joy in the midst of uncertainty and insecurity. Ecclesiastes' God demands neither sacrifice nor adherence to commandments, but offers instead a practical lifestyle rooted in moderation, meaningful work and friendship. Rabbi Shapiro's translation of and commentary on ECCLESIASTES restores this ancient text to its timeless place as a guide to living sanely in an often insane world.
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117 printed pages

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