July 13, 2015


Learn to Love Life.

We live in a world of endless contradictions. Work vs. family. Money vs. fulfillment. Desires vs. obligations. The body vs. the spirit. We rely on conventional wisdom to point us forward. But conventional wisdom gets it wrong more often than we imagine.

Read the introduction and order print or Kindle at Amazon

Open this book and celebrate the marriage between the greatest collection of verbal images in history — King Solomon’s Book of Proverbs — and the most famous visual image in the world — Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

Find tranquility in the midst of conflict

Develop attitudes that deepen relationships

Gain clarity through times of darkness and confusion

Decrease cynicism and find joy in the daily miracles that fill our lives

Secrets for success and happiness from the wisdom of the ages

Take a guided tour beneath the surface of the world we live in through the lens of news stories, historical vignettes, folktales, the wonders of nature, and the discoveries of science — all woven together in a lyrical and surprising medley of the human experience.

Researchers have no explanation why people, when blindfolded, can’t walk a straight line; but what is it about human nature that makes us wander in circles? What does former NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to ease Manhattan traffic with “congestion pricing” reveal about the way we make decisions? What can fig harvesting, migraine headaches, and two Miss America titleholders teach us about the underpinnings of emotional well-being?

The answers to 3000 years’ of questions are here, revealed for every seeker of truth and self-awareness in the language of our modern era. Guided by the wisdom of Solomon and the mysteries of the Mona Lisa, learn how to find tranquility in the midst of chaos, how to savor the moments of everyday life, and how to resolve the paradoxes of the human heart.


Yonason graduated the University of California with a degree in English in 1983, then set off across the United States hitching rides and sleeping in hostels, campgrounds, or by the side of the road. Half a year later, he set out farther afield, this time across Europe, intending to circle the globe via Africa, Australia, and a return trip to Asia. (But that’s another story.)

Too weary to carry on after months on ten-dollars-a-day, he crossed the Mediterranean for the Land of Israel. There, Yonason planned to occupy his time picking oranges on a kibbutz before stalking the southern hemisphere. You can read about some of his adventures here.

We know what happens when Man plans. A strong dollar had given a few million other young Americans the same idea, and there wasn’t a spot to be found on any kibbutz in the country — an unprecedented event. With dwindling funds and a depleted constitution, he took a most unlikely turn and found himself as a neophyte in a talmudical seminary.

It took two months, ceaseless bouts of syllogistic sparring, and a former professor of philosophy from Johns Hopkins University to convince him to see the world in a new light. Read about how his background in literature sparked by a personal awakening here.

Yonason spent the next nine years learning ancient languages and studying the accumulated wisdom of 3300 years, starting a family, earning a rabbinic ordination, and acquiring the credentials to teach Mankind’s most profound wisdom to others. After leaving Israel, his wife and he spent a year teaching in Budapest, Hungary. You can get a taste of their experiences here.

Two years later they moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where they have lived since 1996. Yonason teaches high school, lectures adults, and writes on contemporary issues, current events, inspiration, education, child-raising, history, philosophy, spirituality, and self-awareness for Jewish and popular journals.

In between the responsibilities of his day-job, he has been invited to address such organizations as the Kiwanis Club, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and Oasis, as well as a variety of religious and secular audiences.

Any questions? Yonason answers the most frequent ones here.

Essays and articles on all variety of Torah topics, including Jewish philosophy, Jewish history, contemporary issues, current events, education, child-raising, ethics, politics, and the world at large.

Yonason Goldson Timeless Wisdom For Modern Times/