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What's in It for Me? Rabbi's New Book Explores 'Middle Ground' in Scripture; Applying Biblical Teachings to 21st Century

The culmination of four decades of study, Rabbi Stephen Fuchs’ ‘What’s in it for Me? Finding Ourselves in Biblical Narratives’ compels readers to take biblical narratives seriously without worrying about their historical or scientific truth. By exploring this ‘middle ground’, readers can quickly discover the only truth that matters is in the valuable lessons biblical stories can teach them


West Hartford, CT -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/30/2014 -- While it may initially appear unlikely, Rabbi Stephen Fuchs is urging his readers not to take biblical narratives as gospel. Equally he is also calling on humanity not to dismiss these narratives as fiction. In his powerful new book that transcends denomination and even belief itself, Fuchs instead asks readers to explore the sacred ‘middle ground’ that exists – a place where essential life lessons can be uncovered.

Everything is explained in ‘What’s in it for Me? Finding Ourselves in Biblical Narratives’; the first book of its kind.


The world is rapidly dividing between those who take biblical narratives as the literal word of God -- claiming that they are historically and scientifically true --and those who dismiss those narratives as quaint or even foolish fairy tales. There is however a sacred middle ground that What’s In It for Me? invites the reader to discover. This book:

-Finds The Bible’s truth in the lessons the stories teach us.
-Takes the Bible seriously but not literally
-Sees the Creation of a better world as God’s highest goal
-Enables us to find ourselves in biblical stories
-Helps us to lead more meaningful lives.

“While exploring this middle ground, readers will constantly see biblical stories in a new light; one that doesn’t question historical fact, but instead reveals life-lessons for being a more self-aware, caring and compassionate human being,” says Fuchs, who is former President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. “Readers will be constantly questioning where they are in the text, no matter what denomination they are committed to and even if they are of no faith.”

Continuing, “Plenty of critically-thinking agnostics can improve their lives by seeking a better understanding of biblical narratives. My book won’t wrap them up in debates over plausibility, but instead equip them with a means to adapt the Torah’s stories to their own lives. Believe me, the results are extremely powerful.”

Heidi Hadsell, Ph.D., President of Hartford Seminary, provided the book’s foreword. In it, she praised the accessibility of Fuchs’ work, “Fuchs links the meaning of the texts to our concrete, contemporary lives, and shows us that each of us (believer or not) can, indeed, be who we are called to be. As Rabbi Fuchs says, “And even if we do not believe in God, we can choose life and blessing for ourselves and for others, and that is the choice that really matters.” Thus, as you read this book you will be informed, comforted, challenged and encouraged.”

Reader feedback has also been overwhelmingly positive. For example Jesselyn Radack, Director of National Security & Human Rights at Government Accountability Project, comments, “You do not have to be religious to reap abundant pearls of wisdom from this book. It is accessible on so many levels because Rabbi Fuchs is able to take complex, confusing and abstract stories, explain their modern-day applicability, and weave them into a seamless narrative. The common thread that runs through them is the call to establish a just, caring, and compassionate society—to do what is right, productive, and positive by playing to our strengths.”

Ana Cabán, renowned lifestyle and fitness coach, was equally impressed, adding, “Rabbi Stephen Fuchs invites us to take stock of our own lives, our perceptions and beliefs, as well as ownership of our actions. Inspired by biblical narratives, his book reminds us that we each have unique callings and the power to make choices that can make our world a better place.”

‘What’s in It for Me? Finding Ourselves in Biblical Narratives’ is due for imminent release. For more information, visit the author’s official website: www.bibnar.com

About the Author
The author served as the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel, a synagogue founded in 1843 with a current membership of nearly 900 families. Upon his retirement from the pulpit in 2011 he served as President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. In that capacity he visited more than 65 communities on five continents advocating for Reform Jewish values and legitimacy.

During his pulpit career the author published more than 100 (not counting internet) articles, book chapters and op-Ed essays in such publications as The Washington Post, The Jerusalem Post, The Baltimore Sun, and The Hartford Courant.