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Publication Date: July 2009

Publisher(s): National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (U.S.)

Author(s): Michael Gottsegen

Series: CLAL on Culture Archive

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: Jewish Values; Identity Formation; Empowerment

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


In a world where media seems to dominate and the luxury that celebrities live in is flaunted in magazines everywhere, it is natural for average individuals to feel as though the good life is lived elsewhere, and not by them. Religious thinkers used to teach that the good life would be achieved at another time, but with the good life being seen as celebrity, the good life has become realistically unattainable. The author notes that while religion teaches that all are equal, it is impossible to note the social hierarchies that exist in everyday life. However, he asserts that Judaism teaches that we must remove the hierarchy of power and competition in order to prompt creative action and understand that the good life is to be lived by us, in the present.