If you were cast away on an island with just one Jewish text for company, which would you choose?

Desert Island Texts

Desert Island Texts

Esther Aronsfeld, of Mosaic Liberal Synagogue, selects Minyan: Ten Principles For Living A Life Of Integrity by Rabbi Rami Shapiro

A desert island may lack the material things of life, but it’s the perfect place to enrich your spiritual life. Rabbi Rami Shapiro’s Minyan: Ten Principles For Living A Life Of Integrity is the ideal guide to help.

Based on the wisdom of the ancient Jewish sages, Minyan offers a practical Jewish approach for injecting joy, meaning and integrity into daily life. Using a mix of stories, fresh insights and spiritual exercises, Shapiro describes a tenfold path that is accessible for people of all faiths.

An American rabbi, storyteller and award-winning poet, Shapiro illuminates Judaism’s ethical laws and rituals with a new kind of guidance for putting them into practice.

His opening story about a lecture he once attended on three of the world’s great religions will resonate with many Jews who have turned to other traditions because they couldn’t find what they were looking for within their own. Hungry for “something to rekindle my soul that was cool with doubt”, Shapiro waited eagerly to hear what the speakers had to teach him.

The Catholic priest spoke about theology and faith, the rabbi spoke of Jewish history, halacha and human rights and the Buddhist monk who sat on floor cushions offered a brief introduction to meditation and invited everyone to try it.

“He closed his eyes, said nothing for 15 minutes then clapped his hands twice to call us back to attention. ‘This is Buddhism,’ he said. “Any questions?” The priest seemed remote and very sure of himself, the rabbi passionate but abstract – only the monk showed us what to do.” And it was what to do that Shapiro wanted to learn.

The 10 practices of Minyan show us what to do and make it a welcome addition to reclaiming Judaism as a spiritual practice.