When a Lie Is Not a Sin: The Hebrew Bible's Framework for Deciding
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About the Author
Rabbi Dennis S. Ross is a spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Emeth in Albany, New York, and directs Concerned Clergy for Choice for Family Planning Advocates of New York State. He is author of God in Our Relationships: Spirituality between People from the Teachings of Martin Buber and When a Lie Is Not a Sin: The Hebrew Bible's Framework for Deciding (both Jewish Lights) and All Politics Is Religious: Speaking Faith to the Media, Policy Makers and Community (SkyLight Paths). He has written for the New York Times and the Boston Globe, and he blogs for Rewire and Religion Dispatches.
"When a Lie Is Not a Sin is an accessible blend of serious scholarship and self-help ideas that manages to both illuminate the peculiar nature of the Torah and is protagonists. You may never love someone for their honesty, but you will enjoy Rabbi Ross's unflinching look at the dynamics of lying, the reasons we mislead, and the elusive nature of the truth." - Berkshire Jewish Voice
"A treasure chest of insights into our often complicated moral circumstances and piercing questions which force us to think about what we say and do. A must-read for readers of all faiths."
--Dr. Norman J. Cohen, author, Masking and Unmasking Ourselves: Interpreting Biblical Texts on Clothing and Identity
"Masterfully weaves biblical and historical storytelling with guidance in making everyday decisions.... Offers us hope in forgiving our human frailties and exalting the Divine."
--Ruth Sharon, LPC, relationship coach; co-author, Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating and Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship
"Navigating life requires both firm principles and supple flexibility, and the wisdom to know how to live with both. Rabbi Ross provides us that wisdom.... I look forward to teaching this wise book."
--Rabbi Edward Feinstein, author, Tough Questions Jews Ask and The Chutzpah Imperative: Empowering Today's Jews for a Life That Matters
"Dives into the real world and its multiple and manifest complexities. Rabbi Ross makes a clear path through our own twistedness and that all around us. You will find relief as well as personal clarification reading this book."
--Rev. Donna Schaper, author, Living Well While Doing Good
"Provides insight about the nature of lying.... The author is careful not to portray lying as a way of life, but describes the criteria and kinds of situations where it serves a useful purpose."
--Michael Spangle, PhD, co-author, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Ourselves: Understanding and Healing Our Emotional Wounds
"Judaism is a civilization built on nuance and complexity, and our understanding of it must be nuanced and complex as well. [This book] helps us on both counts. It should be read and, more importantly, pondered."
--Rabbi Rami Shapiro, translator and annotator, Ethics of the Sages--Pirke Avot: Annotated & Explained; author, The Golden Rule and the Games People Play: The Ultimate Strategy for a Meaning-Filled Life
"From Abraham's Genesis to Colbert's truthiness, Rabbi Dennis Ross considers when a lie is not a sin with nuance and wisdom.... Whether you are an individual reader curled up at home or part of a reading group or Torah study community, this book will make you think hard and grow. Truly a gem."
--Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, author, The Genesis of Ethics and Sage Tales: Wisdom and Wonder from the Rabbis of the Talmud
"An excellent and thoughtful guide drawing on Hebrew scripture to help us understand how to balance integrity and common sense."
--Pastor Don Mackenzie, co-author, Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith