The Ten Journeys of Life: Walking the Path of Abraham - A Guide to Being Human

Overview

This is a book filled with practical wisdom about how to live today. It is a book on how to be fully human.

An old saying goes, "Life is a journey," but Rabbi Gold proposes that life is actually ten very different journeys. We all travel most of them and many of us travel them all, even though we may travel them in a different order. Different journeys may become crucial at different times in our lives. We may even successfully complete one of ...

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1558749233 *** SIGNED + INSCRIBED BY AUTHOR on title page ***. Looks like new. Clean text. SATISF GNTD + SHIPS W/IN 24 HRS. Sorry, no APO deliveries. Ships in a padded envelope ... with free tracking. 903v Read more Show Less

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Overview

This is a book filled with practical wisdom about how to live today. It is a book on how to be fully human.

An old saying goes, "Life is a journey," but Rabbi Gold proposes that life is actually ten very different journeys. We all travel most of them and many of us travel them all, even though we may travel them in a different order. Different journeys may become crucial at different times in our lives. We may even successfully complete one of these journeys, only to discover later that we must begin that journey again.

The Ten Journeys of Life is a guide to being human-a veritable pathway into the basic essence of humanity. Rabbi Gold takes us through an exploration of these journeys using Abraham the Biblical patriarch as a mentor.
Based on ancient and timeless principles, the insights and wisdom within these pages are both contemporary and essential.

What makes this book even more meaningful are the "Guideposts for Your Journey." After each chapter, the author concludes by sharing advice and spiritual guidance to help navigate each path.

The Ten Journeys of Life is a treasury of wisdom, fulfilling and consequential. Through it, we learn what it means to really be human and attain true success, but travel we must.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558749238
  • Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/7/2001
  • Pages: 275

Meet the Author

Rabbi Michael Gold serves as spiritual leader of Temple Beth Torah in Tamarac, Florida. Previously, he served congregations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Upper Nyack, New York. Rabbi Gold is the author of three previous books: And Hannah Wept, Does God Belong in the Bedroom? and God, Love, Sex and Family. He has lectured throughout the country and in Europe on sexual ethics, infertility and adoption, family relations and finding a mission in life. His weekly spiritual message goes to hundreds of readers throughout the world. Rabbi Gold can be reached through his web site at www.rabbigold.com.
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Introduction

Introduction

Through you will all the families of the world be blessed.
Genesis 12:3

With ten trials was our father Abraham tried, and he stood steadfast for all of them.
Avot 5:3

A man was lost in the woods. He kept wandering but found himself farther and farther from his home and family. Soon the sun would set, and he was becoming frightened. Would he have to spend the night alone in the woods?

Suddenly the man heard a noise in front of him. It was another man walking toward him through the woods. With a cry, the lost man ran forward, almost knocking over the stranger. "Thank God you have come. Now you can show me the way out of the woods and back to my home."

The other man looked at him. "Sorry. I am also lost. I have no idea how to find our way out of these woods. But now that I have found you, at least we can travel together."

It was the dawn of time. God had created humanity with great hope and anticipation, but most people were evil and corrupt. People did not know the proper path of life. They were lost.

God was obsessed with teaching people the proper path. So God chose one man to become a role model for humanity. The man's name was Abram. God would soon change his name to Abraham, literally "father of nations," in honor of his role as the teacher of humanity.

Abraham was not alone. His whole family became part of God's plan. His relations included three generations. First were Abraham's wife Sarah, then known as Sarai; Sarah's maidservant Hagar, who would become Abraham's second wife; and Abraham's nephew Lot. The second generation included Abraham's older son Ishmael and his younger son Isaac and Isaac's wife Rebecca. The third generation consisted of the two sons of Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Essau, and Jacob's wives Rachel and Leah. This family would become humanity's mentors, teaching people the proper path in life.

It all started with Abraham, but first God had to test Abraham to make sure he was worthy of being the pathfinder. In fact, according to an ancient rabbinic tradition, Abraham was given ten different tests. Only by undergoing each of these ten tests was he able to become the leader and teacher God sought. Only through these tests could he bring humanity back onto the proper path.

The ten tests were not examinations like those students take in school. They were not pass/fail tests. They were more like trials or ordeals that Abraham had to endure and complete. In fact, each was a learning experience. Perhaps the best way to describe these ten tests is as ten journeys. Abraham had to go through the ten journeys of life. By successfully completing each of them, Abraham became the mentor for all humanity.

Each of us must travel these same ten journeys as we go through our lives. Each of us is tested ten times, going through ten trials and ordeals; each of us becomes more human as we travel the ten journeys of life.

This book is a guide to being human. As humans, we share something with the animal kingdom. We live a material existence; we eat, drink, sleep, have sexual relations, reproduce our species, get sick and eventually we die. However, as humans we are also profoundly different from the animal kingdom. As the psalmist taught regarding humans, "Thou has made him but little lower than the angels, and have crowned him with glory and honor" (Psalms 8:6). We carry within us the breath of God. (The Hebrew word for soul, neshama, literally means "breath.") A major theme of these ten journeys is how we can rise above our animal nature and find the breath of God that echoes within each of us.

Rabbi Alvin Fine once said, "Birth is a beginning and death is a destination and life is a journey." Life is actually ten different journeys. We all travel most of them; many of us travel them all. We may travel them in a different order than Abraham did, and different journeys may become crucial at different times in our lives. We may successfully complete one of these journeys, only to discover later that we must begin that particular journey again. However, travel we must if we are to live successful lives.

As we travel the ten journeys of life, Abraham and his family become our mentors. In this book, I begin with their story, their mistakes, and their search for their proper path. I tell the stories of Abraham and his family, as they appear in the Torah (the Five Books of Moses, which form the beginning of what Jews call the Hebrew scripture, or Tanach, and Christians call the Old Testament).

In telling the story of Abraham, I also share the midrash, the many rabbinic stories and interpretations that elaborate upon and provide insights into the biblical text. These biblical stories and rabbinic legends are only our jumping-off point. This is a book about how to live today. It is filled with practical wisdom. This is a book on how to be fully human, living by God's light.

Each chapter contains a section near the end called "Guideposts for Your Journey." Each is addressed to you, as if you have come into my office for counseling and advice. In fact, Guideposts for Your Journey grew out of hundreds of counseling sessions with my synagogue members and outsiders, both Jews and Christians. This section is filled with practical wisdom for those searching for the path. I wrote it with the hope that this book will be more than theoretical and will provide real hands-on coaching for becoming more fully human.

Sometimes we humans feel lost. However, we are never alone. Together, we will find the proper path. Looking at Abraham and his family as our guide, let us begin the journey together.

Because we humans can never fully know God, we assume as we begin that God is with us. Even Moses, God's greatest prophet, could not know God face to face. He could only see God's back (Exodus 23:23). He could not see what God is, only what God does. Even Moses had only an incomplete picture-a metaphor.

For each of these journeys, we relate to God differently and use different metaphors to describe our relationship with God. As we travel, though, we need never feel lost or alone. God is always with us. For each of the ten journeys.

God is our Guidepost.



(c)2001.All rights reserved. Reprinted from The Ten Journey's of Life by Michael Gold. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Simcha Press, 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

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