Most people probably think that the Bible is basically a history book, which sketches earliest human history and the formation of the Jewish nation…….WRONG! The Creator didn’t bring the universe into existence, holler “Good luck,” and then retire to Miami. Subtly embedded within the Five Books of Moses are timeless messages for happy, successful, elevated living. These suggestions cover marriage, child-rearing, business ethics, inter-personal relationships, personal growth, etc. In short, the Bible is the original self-help manual.

The source of this invaluable advice is the Jewish Oral Tradition. In addition to the Torah, G-d provided Moses with a vast amount of additional information, a portion of which included immutable “life lessons.” This data was originally intended to be only verbally communicated from one generation to the next. But, following the destruction of the First and Second Temples, the Jewish people were dispersed throughout the world. Since that situation posed a significant risk that this large body of unwritten information would ultimately be lost or forgotten, the Jewish sages permitted a portion of this commentary to be memorialized. The process of reducing these principles to writing was subsequently augmented by accepted rabbinic commentary.

Genesis (sometimes referred to as the “Book of the Righteous” in Hebraic literature) provides many insights into refined, mindful, sensitive conduct. They are not enumerated like the Ten Commandments, but are primarily embodied in the stories and conversations of the progenitors of the Jewish nation – Abraham, Isaac, Sara, Rebecca, as well as Jacob and his family. Although these individuals epitomized impeccable integrity and self-restraint, their character foibles and rare errors were preserved in the Oral Tradition to help subsequent generations learn from their mistakes and lead happier, more satisfying lives.
A few of these life lessons (called Guidelines) are included in “The Original Self-Help Book, Life Lessons from Genesis.” There are a great many more which the author, Brian Siegel, hopes to present in subsequent works.

Author's Bio: 

The author, Brian Siegel, is a graduate of Syracuse University (Phi Beta Kappa/Magna Cum Laude) and Columbia Law School (Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar). In addition to academic excellence, Brian wrote a popular 12-book series of exam-taking manuals for law students entitled, “Siegel’s Answers to Essay and Multi-Choice Questions.” Over 200,000 copies of these books have been sold.

A conscientious Bible student, Brian was profoundly impressed by the ethical, sensitivity and character refinement precepts embedded in Genesis and the attendant Jewish Oral Tradition. Although established thousands of years ago, these timeless messages unquestionably engender a happier, more elevated, satisfying life.

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