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Values, Prosperity, and the Talmud: Business Lessons from the Ancient Rabbis

ISBN: 978-0-471-44441-1
264 pages
August 2003
Values, Prosperity, and the Talmud: Business Lessons from the Ancient Rabbis (0471444413) cover image


This insightful book offers business advice that has endured for thousands of years. While business fads come and go, the ancient lessons of the Talmud are timeless, profound, ethical, and practical–and they’re for everyone. Values, Prosperity, and the Talmud is a concise guide to this proven philosophy of business. Beyond basic money-related matters, it includes the Talmud’s advice on complex issues of employer/employee relationships, partnerships, competition, and much more. Here, you will learn how to run a successful business, negotiate with style, earn the loyalty of your employees, sell products successfully, advertise effectively, and make higher profits, all within an ethical and moral framework.

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Table of Contents



LESSON ONE: The Spirituality of Money.

LESSON TWO: Work as a Holy Act.

LESSON THREE: Treating Workers Well Pays Dividends.

LESSON FOUR: Giving and Getting a Fair Day’s Work.

LESSON FIVE: The Bonding of Corporate Profits and Ethics.

LESSON SIX: Balancing the Environment and Profits.

LESSON SEVEN: The Rules of Partnerships, Deals, and Debt.

LESSON EIGHT: Competition Is for True Competitors Only.

LESSON NINE: Education Is a Lifelong Process.

LESSON TEN: Charity Means More Than Just Giving.

The Ultimate Business Secret of the Rabbis: Reputation.

A Note on Translation and Commentators.

A Short History of the Talmud.

Unlocking the Talmud’s Structure.

A Who’s Who of Talmudic Rabbis.



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Author Information

LARRY KAHANER is an award-winning journalist, lecturer, and consultant, and the author of nine books that have been translated into a dozen languages. He is a former Washington staff correspondent for BusinessWeek, reporter for Knight-Ridder newspapers and a founding editor of Communications Daily. He currently is Washington Editor of Fleet Owner magazine. He has written for InformationWeek, the Christian Science Monitor, the International Herald Tribune, the European, and Management Technology. He has been a guest on many shows including Larry King Live!, CNBC’s Management Today, NPR’s All Things Considered, and the Motley Fool Radio Show.
For more information go to www.talmudbook.com or contact the author at info@talmudbook.com.
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The Talmud, says Kahaner, is a "handbook for today's business world": a reminder of balance in a workaholic culture, a treatise on personal responsibility and a call to charity in a society that seems driven by greed. In this book, Kahaner mines the ancient wisdom of the Talmud for advice on how to prosper ? but to do so ethically. He begins with discussions of the "spirituality of money," claiming that wealth can be a positive force if it is used wisely, and then argues that work is a holy act. Other chapters take up various topical issues: treating workers fairly so that they will in turn do their work more productively; being scrupulously honest in business dealings; recognizing that education is a lifelong process; and giving to charity. Kahaner draws on contemporary business examples as well as ancient wisdom to demonstrate that "doing good" and "making good" often go hand in hand. (August. 8) (Publishers Weekly, June 30, 2003)

Help is available from just about everyone. Scan Amazon.com and you can find investment and business guides that purport to tell you how to win big, according to the principles of Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Napoleon, Julius Caesar and probably Br'er Rabbit. You can also invest according to Jesus Christ and, now, take business lessons from ancient rabbis. Here you get the Talmud's take on employee-employer relationships, partnerships, negotiations and more, all with the aim of turning an ethical profit. (Barron's, October 6, 2003)

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