ZENThe following quotes are an excerpt from Zen Judaism, a book of Judaic quotes for personal inspiration and spirituality by Fred L. Holtz, Ph.D.

The quotes were chosen from ancient and modern spiritual sources within Judaism. They reflect the wonder of life, reverence for everyday events, respect for nature, and the importance of improving the world. The passages are intended to bring a brief moment of deeper meaning into our busy lives, and add a little humor. The selection of quotes will be updated frequently, so BOOKMARK this page!

If you want to order the complete book, Zen Judaism, please contact me and include your name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number. You will be sent instructions on where to send a check to order your copy. The complete manuscript of 613 quotes, including shipping and handling, is $30.00. Until then, enjoy the quotes on this page.

A little light dispels much darkness.
ISSACHAR EILENBURG

The aim of life is to be fully born. To live is to be born every minute. Death occurs when birth stops.
ERICH FROMM

What does not grow, declines.
HILLEL

Whatever grows never grows old.
NOAH BEN SHEA

It does not matter what we expect from life, but rather what life expects from us.
VIKTOR E. FRANKL

Insanity is hereditary; you can get it from your children.
SAM LEVENSON

When you sweep the house, you find everything.
YIDDISH PROVERB

The life of the individual has meaning only in so far as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful.
ALBERT EINSTEIN

How embarrassing for man to be the greatest miracle on earth and not to understand it!
ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL

To be is to stand for.
ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL

I cannot believe that God would choose to play dice with the universe.
ALBERT EINSTEIN

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
ANNE FRANK

May you have a strong foundation when the winds of change shift.
BOB DYLAN

Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty in every age of life really never grows old.
FRANZ KAFKA

Through faith man experiences the meaning of the world; through action he is to give it meaning.
LEO BAECK

Blessing is to be found only in a thing hidden from the eye.
MIDRASH

If God lived on Earth, all his windows would be broken.
YIDDISH PROVERB

The body is a sponge, the soul an abyss.
YIDDISH PROVERB

God is concealed from our minds but revealed in our hearts.
ZOHAR

The more valuable a thing, the more effort it demands.
SAADI

Eat and drink below your means, clothe yourself according to your means, and honor your spouse and children above your means.
TALMUD

I grew up among sages and have found nothing better for a person than silence.
MISHNAH (PIRKE AVOT)

A quiet fool is half a sage.
YIDDISH PROVERB

The fool wonders, the wise man asks.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI

Anyone whose wisdom is greater than his deeds is like a tree with abundant foliage, but few roots.
MISHNAH (PIRKE AVOT)

Who is a sage? One who learns from everybody.
MISHNAH (PIRKE AVOT)

A wise man knows what he says, a fool says what he knows.
YIDDISH PROVERB

If you want people to think you are wise, agree with them.
YIDDISH PROVERB

Education is that which remains when one has forgotten everything one has learned in school.
JEWISH SAYING

I have learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, but most from my students.
JUDAH HANASSI

I learned much from my teachers, more from my books, and most from my mistakes.
RABBI YITCHAK

When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.
ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL

If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
ABRAHAM MASLOW

The center of the world is exactly where you stand.
TALMUD

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
ALBERT EINSTEIN

People are more wont to be astonished at the sun’s eclipse than at its unfailing rise.
MIDRASH

Where there is no truth, there is no kindness.
REBBE NACHMAN OF BRESLOV

The poor man does more for the rich man by accepting charity than the rich man does for the poor by giving it.
MIDRASH

From your opinion of others we know the opinion of you.
MOSES IBN EZRA

A needle’s eye is not too narrow for two lovers, but the whole world is not wide enough for two enemies.
SOLOMON IBN GABIROL

Who is mighty? He who makes a friend of his enemy.
TALMUD

Friends are needed both for joy and for sorrow.
YIDDISH PROVERB

A person is only as good as what they love.
SAUL BELLOW

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.

SONG OF SONGS

To pull a friend out of the mud, don’t hesitate to get dirty.
BAAL SHEM TOV

Say little and do much.
MISHNAH (PIRKE AVOT)

Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.
ANNE LANDERS

God helps those who stop hurting themselves.
HAROLD S. KUSHNER

All beginnings are difficult.
MEKHILTA

Things can go from the very worst to the very best in just the blink of an eye.
REBBE NACHMAN OF BRESLOV

If you desire success, hope for setbacks.
MIDRASH

Eighty percent of success is just showing up.
WOODY ALLEN

If you lie on the ground, you cannot fall.
YIDDISH PROVERB

Until we are all free, we are none of us free.
EMMA LAZARUS

The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls.
PAUL SIMON and ART GARFUNKLE

Don’t be humble. You’re not that great.
GOLDA MEIR

Teach us to number our days so that we may get us a heart of wisdom.
PSALMS

Anything can happen. Anything can be.
SHEL SILVERSTEIN

If you take hold of too much you grasp nothing.
TALMUD

Build your life as if it were a work of art.
ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL

The divine sings in noble deeds.
ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL

The first human being who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.
SIGMUND FREUD

Next to knowing when to seize an opportunity, the next important thing is to know when to forego an advantage.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI

We must believe in free will. We have no choice.
ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER

You can’t push a wave onto the shore any faster than the ocean brings it in.
SUSAN STRASBERG

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: to choose one’s attitudes in any given situation.
VIKTOR E. FRANKL

If you want to give God a good laugh, tell Him your plans.
YIDDISH PROVERB

No choice is also a choice.
YIDDISH PROVERB

Man is needed. He is a need of God.SEFIROT
ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL

Life is something that happens when you can’t get to sleep.
FRAN LEBOWITZ

For the benefit of the flowers, we water the thorns, too.
JEWISH SAYING

Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering. And it’s all over much too soon.
WOODY ALLEN

Human beings are God’s language.
HASIDIC SAYING

There are only two ways to live your life. As though nothing is a miracle, or as though everything is a miracle.

ALBERT EINSTEIN

Daily life can be superficial, but that’s only on the surface.
FRED L. HOLTZ, Ph.D.

Everyone should perceive the world as exactly half good and half evil. By doing one more good act, we tip the scale toward the good.
KIDDUSHIM

Anger causes a man to be far from the truth.
REBBE NACHMAN OF BRESLOV

It is important to have a core of inner integrity that the world cannot touch.
RABBI BERNARD S. RASKAS

A dream that is not interpreted is like a letter that is unread.
MIDRASH

Who is Rich? One who is happy with what he has.
MISHNAH (PIRKE AVOT)