The Way of Man and Ten Rungs

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Citadel Press, 2006 - Religion - 133 pages
Martin Buber - social activist, teacher and religious writer - was one of the 20th century's most important and passionate representatives of the human spirit. Two of his most influential works - The Way Of Man and Ten Rungs - resonate to this day. As enlightening and redemptive as they were more than 50 years ago, they are published here in a single volume for the first time. The tales and aphorisms retold by Buber in Ten Rungs are drawn from Hasidic lore, where the various ways in which individuals learn to perfect themselves are the "rungs" on a ladder leading up to a higher realm. The Way Of Man is a masterwork of economy in which Buber relates and interprets six traditional Hasidic stories that offer guidance and wisdom for any age. With a recognisable debt to the Hasidic emphasis on joyful worship, Buber's thoughts on spirituality are as inspirational and valid today as they were in the mid-20th century.

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Not to Be Preoccupied with Oneself
The Rung of Prayer
The Rung of Heaven and Earth
The Rung of Service
The Rung of the Teachings

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About the author (2006)

Martin Buber was born in Vienna, the son of Solomon Buber, a scholar of Midrashic and medieval literature. Martin Buber studied at the universities of Vienna, Leipzig, Zurich, and Berlin, under Wilhelm Dilthey and Georg Simmel. As a young student, he joined the Zionist movement, advocating the renewal of Jewish culture as opposed to Theodor Herzl's political Zionism. At age 26 he became interested in Hasidic thought and translated the tales of Nahman of Bratslav. Hasidism had a profound impact on Buber's thought. He credited it as being the inspiration for his theories of spirituality, community, and dialogue. Buber is responsible for bringing Hasidism to the attention of young German intellectuals who previously had scorned it as the product of ignorant eastern European Jewish peasants. Buber also wrote about utopian socialism, education, Zionism, and respect for the Palestinian Arabs, and, with Franz Rosenzweig, he translated the Bible. He was appointed to a professorship at the University of Frankfurt in 1925, but, when the Nazis came to power, he received an appointment at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Buber died in 1965.

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