Monday, March 25, 2019

Review by Rabbi Irwin Kula

I am not sure I ever read a book like this. I know the author for more than three decades (actually for close to six decades as we played together when we were young children as our fathers of blessed memories were friends and colleagues) so for a long time now, I have experienced his spacious heart, open -mind, and evolved spirit.  I am not surprised by the depth, insight, decency, accessibility, wisdom, honesty and humility of Mensch•Marks: Life Lessons of a Human Rabbi and yet as I read this beautiful testimony to an examined life and a life worth examining, I laughed, cried, sighed, smiled, gasped, breathed and realized, understood, and appreciated life in its ordinary extraordinariness, in its mystical normalcy, and its sacred messiness.     

If you simply want to become a better person, have a better life, make the world a touch better read this book.

Mensch•Marks: Life Lessons of a Human Rabbi is a beautiful book - a magical alchemy of life experience, deep study, years of teaching and serving, and the gifts of a seeing eye and the ability to communicate. All of life is a source of wisdom for Joshua  - popular culture, personal biography, ancient texts and traditions, baseball, parenting, family, nature, shopping…not esoteric complex, jargoned wisdom but practical wisdom that will inspire you, as it has inspired me, to really try to be more compassionate, resilient, truthful, moral, humble, faithful, intimate, and maybe most powerfully kind. You will read each of the 42 eloquent reflections in this book and feel the generosity of the writer in sharing his life for one purpose only: to help us become more deeply human. 

There are so many books about the meaning of life but this is a book that with grace and fierceness, with courage and humor, and with humility and sagacity teaches us about the meaning IN life.  Joshua’s father z’l is surely smiling as his son has written a book that will help every one of its readers become the kind of person God wants us to be: a mensch.  -  Rabbi Irwin Kula, Co-President of Clal–The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life