For every important moment and stage in your life, there is a Great Book that can offer you invaluable lessons and place your unique experiences in a larger perspective.
This is a 36-lecture course, each lecture being thirty minutes in length. The subject is fascinating, and Lerer is obviously learned and highly articulate if intermittently frustratingly dry and pedantic, nevertheless, to the listener's relief, often highly witty as well.
God. Torah. Israel. These three concepts—incorporated in personal belief, the meaning of Jewish ritual acts, and the purpose of continued Jewish existence—have been the focus of Jewish thought throughout history.
The great Bohemian-born composer Gustav Mahler once said, "A symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything." Over the course of its nearly 300-year life, the symphony has indeed embraced almost every trend to be found in Western concert music.
What is meditation? For thousands of years, human beings have practiced refined techniques of mental focusing, designed to change the habitual conditioning of the mind. Central to many spiritual and philosophical traditions and known in English as "meditation," these practices are considered a major means for enhanced awareness and self-mastery.
Great literature can be the means of understanding as well as creating our world—by teaching and reinforcing society's laws, articulating its values, and enforcing the social contracts that unite us as a culture. What if literature itself generated our ideas and feelings about justice, marriage and family, property, authority, race, or gender? What if it enflamed our determination to pursue justice—or, conversely, undermined our ability to detect injustice?
You can learn about the stock market in many ways. But most people cannot afford to learn the wrong way—by making expensive mistakes. The stock market is a way for anyone to own the valuable assets of a company and, as investments, stocks historically have offered a good chance for long-term gains. If you own a well-diversified portfolio of individual stocks or stock funds, your wealth tends to grow when the economy grows. But too many investors succumb to the high-risk pursuit of beating the market by trying to pick winners, predict price trends, or otherwise find opportunities that other investors have missed.
An invisible world of astonishing complexity is all around you. A world so small you can't see it with the naked eye. A world so crowded that its population staggers the mind. A world in which you participate every day—often without even knowing it.