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In this beautifully written and moving book, author Steven Leder uses his 15 years of experience as a religious leader and spiritual counselor to tackle the questions with which all of us wrestle on a daily basis: How to keep money from being a focal point, how to understand the difference between wants and needs, what kind of moral code to live by while seeking the comfort that money brings, how to teach children about values involving money, and more.
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Rabbi Steven Z. Leder has served since 1986 at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, the oldest and most prestigious synagogue in Southern California. He is the author of "The Extraordinary Nature of Ordinary Things" (Behrman House, 1999), and his articles have been seen in publications including the "Los Angeles Times" and the "Los Angeles Jewish Journal." He has been quoted in "TIME" magazine and has been a guest on ABC-TV’s "Politically Incorrect" and on National Public Radio. He received the Louis Rapoport Award for Excellence in Commentary by the American Jewish Press Association, and the Kovler Award from the Religious Action Center in Washington, D.C., for his work on African-American and Jewish relations. He lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles.From Publishers Weekly:
Gold is not a problem unless we fashion it into a calf to worship, according to this engaging volume of moral instruction. Leder, a rabbi and author of The Extraordinary Nature of Ordinary Things, addresses the spiritual problems of accumulating and then liquidating wealth in a responsible fashion, reminding readers that wisdom, family, friendship, fulfillment and ethics all take precedence over mammon. His ecumenical approach invokes the teachings of Buddha, Christ and Abe Lincoln, but maintains a characteristically Jewish tone of religious obligation tempered by common sense and infused with a concern for social justice. Practical advice abounds, on tithing (a tenth-at least-of one's income should go to charity); on money and kids (make them work for it, and no credit cards before college); on business ethics (reasonable profits are okay, but don't take advantage of another person's ignorance of the market); on workaholism (keep the Sabbath holy, because "we must put limits on the degree to which we are willing to sell our soul for a dollar"); and on loans to relatives (better to co-sign than to lend outright). There's nothing surprising in these ageless verities, but Leder conveys them with a mixture of parables, proverbs, jokes and sermonettes (on, among other things, why marriage is a lot like fishing for halibut) that keeps them fresh.
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