People will enjoy Rabbi Dr. Michael Leo Samuel’s brilliant, enlightening, and fascinating “Of Lions, Mice & Menorahs: A Jewish Look at Aesop’s Fables.” Samuel retells thirty-five Aesop Tales, informs us who Aesop was, describes the ancient sources, tells us that they were first introduced to teach adults, why they are treasures for all ages, what ethics is, ethics among religious people and atheists, and more, and does so consistently in a fascinating and enlightening manner. He introduces us to the merging of Greek and Jewish cultures and shows how merging these dissimilar cultures enhances the lessons, increases introspection, and fosters intercultural dialogue.

Dr. Samuel translates them in a very readable manner that captures our interest and curiosity. He highlights the messages in each Tale and includes the parallel teachings in Jewish wisdom, including quotes from a vast collection of Jewish and non-Jewish thinkers, ancient and modern. Among much else, he has stimulating questions for people of all ages to ponder and learn.

Aesop’s Fables teach Ethics. Ethics is vital to life. All religions and philosophies emphasize Ethics. Ethical behavior leads to a messianic age – when prophets say figuratively, the lion and lamb will lie together, fully satisfied, in friendship and peace.

Ethics are rules of right and wrong provided to people by thinkers in society. It is a branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles. It governs people’s behavior and behavior with nature and other humans. It deals with freedom, responsibility, and justice. It guides us to tell the truth, keep promises, and help others. It creates a more fulfilling, enjoyable, and meaningful life.

It encourages us to discover how others want to be treated. It opposes setting rules for others that we do not desire. It enables us to treat others as we want to be treated. Samuel shows us how Judaism and other thinkers encouraged people to act ethically and how their ideas increased the lessons in Aesop’s Fables.

This easy-to-read volume analyzing most Aesop Fables is undoubtedly the best volume of Aesop Tales for all people, young and old. It gives readers more than other books.