Rabbi Samuel’s book “Gentle Judaic Wisdom” is a brilliant work, very wise, easy to read, and deceptively simple. The book is filled with information. It is a rich cornucopia of wisdom quoted from sources such as the Torah, Mishnah, Tosefta, Talmud, ancient rabbis, philosophers, and many more sources, even the New Testament. For, as Maimonides wrote when he quoted the pagan Aristotle in his Guide of the Perplexed, “The truth is the truth no matter what its source.” As I read Rabbi Samuel’s notes, I felt impressed by both the extent of his knowledge and how well he understood the many subjects he addressed. It is a perfect book to read either from the first page until the end; the reader may wish to select subjects of interest from the many provided and meditate about that section. It is also the perfect reference book to keep at home to peruse from time to time. We can read the book to enjoy the ideas they express. I enjoyed them this way, but I also found the quotes thought-provoking. They made me think, and they can and should do the same for other readers. What do you think of the quote you read? How can you apply the idea in it to your life? Does the quote cover all situations? Can we extend the idea further and go beyond what the sage said? If so, how? I hope that you enjoy this book as much as I did. I think you will.
~Rabbi Dr. Israel Drazin, Foreword
Should a man nourish anger against his fellow and expect healing from the LORD? Should a man refuse mercy to his fellows, and yet seek pardon for his own sins? If he who is but flesh cherishes wrath, who will forgive his sins? Remember your last days; set your enmity aside; remember death and decay; and cease from sin.
~Ben Sira 28:3-6
Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel is the son of a Holocaust survivor. He holds two rabbinic ordinations from the Tomchei Temimim Lubavitch Yeshiva of 770 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn and holds a D. Min degree from the San Francisco Theological Seminary. He is an avid student of the Greek classics, Biblical and Talmudic scholarship, Jungian Psychology, Western Medieval Theology, Modern Philosophy, and 20th century psychology. He is the author of The Lord Is My Shepherd: The Theology of the Caring God (1996), Birth and Rebirth Through Genesis (2010), A Shepherd’s Song: Psalm 23 and the Shepherd Metaphor In Jewish Thought (2014), Rediscovering Philo of Alexandria: A First Century Jewish Commentator (Volumes 1-5), (2014-2018), and Maimonides’ Hidden Torah Commentary, Genesis 1-21 (2019).