The Happiness Prayer: Ancient Jewish Wisdom for the Best Way to Live Today - eBook
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Vendor: Center Street
Publication Date: 2017
At age 30 Evan Moffic became the leader of a large congregation. He had great success. But he couldn't find happiness. Then he found a 2000-year-old prayer. In it were hidden elements of Jewish wisdom. They became a part of his life and those of his congregation and transformed them and him.
What if we had a clear path to follow when life disappointed us? What if we had a time-tested guide for a life of deeper meaning and happiness? That is what Rabbi Moffic discovered in an ancient Jewish prayer.
Based on ten practices any person can follow, the prayer has helped thousands of people-couples, teenagers, empty nesters struggling with loss, divorce, and ruptured relationships-find renewed meaning and purpose in their lives.
Moffic discovered the power of the prayer when he was called to become the youngest rabbi to lead a large US synagogue at just thirty years of age. The prayer became his guidepost, providing him with the wisdom to lead beyond his years. By incorporating the power of this prayer into his life and using it to guide his congregation and community, he became known as "the smiling rabbi."
In the tradition of Rabbi Harold Kushner, Rabbi Evan Moffic opens up the Jewish wisdom tradition with insights for today. Drawing from interactions with thousands of congregants, as well as his own experience; relating stories of real people; providing accessible commentary from contemporary psychologists; and sprinkling in warm humor, this rabbi of a new generation reveals the means and meaning of joyous living that will appeal to everyone.
EVAN MOFFIC leads Congregation Solel in suburban Chicago. A graduate of Stanford University, Rabbi Moffic was ordained as a rabbi in 2006. He speaks at book festivals, religious groups, and organizational gatherings across the country. Rabbi Moffic appears regularly on cable news stations as a commentator on religious events.
With his wife, Rabbi Arielle Moffic, he has counseled hundreds of individuals and married thousands of couples of all faiths. The Rabbis Moffic are the proud parents of two young children.
"Spiritual wisdom meets positive psychology, showing that the examined life is not an unhappy one."Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take, and coauthor of Option B
"I wish that every Christian I know could sit around a table with Rabbi Moffic and his wife, Ari-also a rabbi. My husband, Aaron, and I have treasured the time we've spent around the table with them-they're wise and kind and funny, and the depth and richness of their faith bleeds into every conversation."Shauna Niequist, bestselling author
"The longer I live, and the more I'm faced with the inescapable reality of pain in life, the more I search for and surround myself with people who exude joy. Men and women who know how to dance in the rain. My friend, Rabbi Evan Moffic, is a shining example. It's impossible to be in a bad mood when I'm with him. And this book delivers that joyful spirit directly to you."Michele Cushatt, author of I Am: A 60-day Journey To Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He is
"[T]he wisdom packed into "The Happiness Prayer" could last you a lifetime."Barbara Mahany, Chicago Tribune
"One of our truly thoughtful and charismatic young leaders, Evan Moffic provides in captivating prose the wisdom and comfort of Jewish teachings for Jews and Gentile alike."David Ellenson, Chancellor of the Hebrew Union College
"Rabbi Moffic makes Judaism relevant to our daily lives. He inspires us to view ethical values through an inclusive and universal lens encouraging us to find acceptance, joy, and happiness in everything we do."Jason Brown, Olympic figure skater
"With sensitivity and insight, Rabbi Evan Moffic offers ancient wisdom to give us meaning and mooring amidst the challenges of our daily lives."Rabbi David Stern
"A much needed reminder - in a culture of seeking - that happiness can be a return to something ancient; Evan Moffic's insights and humanity fill the pages of THE HAPPINESS PRAYER, shining beauty and affirmation on the wisdom of a 2000-year-old prayer, and making it accessible to anyone yearning for a more meaningful life."Dan Ain, founder of "Because Jewish" and former Rabbi in Residence at 92Y
"Rabbi Evan Moffic masterfully invokes ancient Jewish wisdom to help us find happiness in our modern world." Dr. Tal Ben Shahar, author of New York Times bestseller Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment
"Rabbi Moffic captures a primary contemporary pursuit - happiness - and refracts it through anecdotes, rabbinic wisdom and popular culture to remind us that that the path to happiness is right before us at all times. Its wisdom is like the prize inside of a box of crackerjacks - a simple pleasure."Rabbi Lori Shapiro, The Open Temple
"A book about prayer, kindness, and happiness -- a perfect trilogy. Follow Rabbi Moffic's suggestions, and you will not only be a blessing in other people's lives, you will be a blessing in your own as well."
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of Jewish Literacy, Words that Hurt, Words that Heal
"Want to know where to put your energy for a life that has maximal meaning, connection, and opportunities to grow as a person? Read THE HAPPINESS PRAYER. Rabbi Evan Moffic masterfully takes us on a powerful journey through the wisdom of our tradition and the complexities of the human heart. This happiness isn't about quick fixes and instant gratification--rather, it's the recipe for something much more long-lasting and sustaining."Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, author of Nurture the Wow: Finding Spirituality in The Frustration, Boredom Tears, Poop, Desperation, Wonder and Radical Amazement of Parenting
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bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5Wisdom practices for non-ChristiansSeptember 16, 2017bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 4Value: 3Meets Expectations: 3Moffic takes us through a Hebrew prayer that has made a profound difference in his life. The Eilu Devarim is ten short verses written some two thousand years ago. Moffic has been saying the prayer and living the ten practices for the last eight years.
The prayer reveals spiritual truths that will benefit all people, Moffic says. "No one religion is the sole path to happiness," he writes. (13-14) Each of us can make the choice to live these practices, making us happier. These practices include gratitude, kindness, learning, celebration, forgiveness, and more. Moffic offers many stories from his own life and the lives of others to illustrate the benefits of the prayer.
Moffic is a Jewish rabbi. The happiness prayer, the Eilu Devarim, is based on the Jewish understanding of God. Moffic does not recognize the saving and sustaining faith of Jesus Christ nor the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. For Christians, this book lacks the essential truths about happiness and inner joy taught in the New Testament.
Moffic has included questions for personal reflection or for discussion in a group. One minor irritation for me was that Moffic made reference to authors and studies, such as the benefits of journal writing, for example, but provided no bibliography for our further study. (This, even though "keep learning" is one of the wisdom practices.)
I recommend this book to readers who are not Christians yet are looking for wisdom practices to increase their happiness and enjoyment of life. You will also find out quite a bit about Jewish tradition and contemporary practice.
Food for thought: "Happiness begins in the mind." (62)
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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