The Way Of Man

According to the teaching of Hasidism

1948 Martin Buber

5 Stars
Photo by Dimitar Donovski

A pocket guide for your spirit

27 January 2023

A tiny little gem, that's what The Way Of Man is. It's a combination of philosophy and spirituality, bringing the very core of what many religions try to convey in pocket format. It's an easy read yet very profound, a quick read yet lengthy in its true comprehension and application. This book could be summarized in 6 steps which are easy to learn and hard to master:

  1. Follow your heart
  2. Know yourself
  3. Walk your talk
  4. Begin with yourself
  5. Help others
  6. Start here and now

Fantastic advice, love it!


  • Paperback:‎ 48 pages
  • E-book: 38 pages
  • ISBN-10:‎ 0415278295
  • ISBN-13:‎ 978-0415278294

Where to buy?


"The Way of Man" by Martin Buber is a philosophical exploration of Hasidism, a Jewish spiritual movement that emphasizes a direct, personal relationship with God. Buber examines the teachings of early Hasidic masters, addressing spiritual and existential questions faced by humans. He proposes that each individual has a unique spiritual path, which they must discover and follow to achieve spiritual fulfillment.

The book highlights the importance of humility, self-awareness, and personal responsibility in one's spiritual journey. Additionally, it emphasizes the power of love, compassion, and faith, while illustrating the interconnectedness of all things. Through Hasidic stories and parables, Buber offers guidance for individuals seeking to deepen their understanding of Hasidic thought and lead authentic, meaningful lives.

Important learnings and insights

  1. The Way of Man
    Buber suggests that each person has their own unique path in life, a way of connecting with the divine. He encourages individuals to seek their own path and develop a personal relationship with God.
  2. The Importance of the Present Moment
    The book emphasizes the importance of living in the present moment and fully engaging with our experiences. We should not waste our time regretting the past or worrying about the future but rather focus on the opportunities that lie in the here and now.
  3. I-Thou vs. I-It Relationships
    Buber distinguishes between two types of relationships
    I-Thou and I-It. I-Thou relationships are characterized by deep connection, empathy, and understanding, while I-It relationships are more utilitarian and superficial. Buber argues that spiritual growth and fulfillment come from cultivating I-Thou relationships with others and with God.
  4. The Value of Ordinary Life
    Buber suggests that spiritual growth can be found in the most mundane aspects of everyday life. By approaching our daily tasks with mindfulness and intention, we can transform ordinary moments into opportunities for personal growth and connection with the divine.
  5. The Role of Suffering
    According to Buber, suffering is an integral part of human life, and we must learn to embrace it as an opportunity for growth. By facing our pain and challenges head-on, we can develop resilience, compassion, and a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.
  6. God's Immanence
    Buber emphasizes the idea that God is present in every aspect of our lives, both in moments of joy and in moments of suffering. By acknowledging this divine presence, we can develop a deeper spiritual connection and find meaning even in the most difficult circumstances.
  7. The Power of Love and Humility
    Buber asserts that love and humility are essential qualities for personal and spiritual growth. By cultivating these qualities in our relationships with others and with God, we can experience true fulfillment and inner transformation.

20 significant notes

View these notes on Goodreads

  • 4%“When one can find . . . offer themselves out of the sincerest heart and not out of some ego-driven desire to be altruistic or to learn the ‘secrets,’ or to master the principles, then one will be achieving the highest good.”
  • 16%The I-Thou relationship is a true relationship where people speak to each other as equals. Though one cannot sustain this forever, and many relationships become unequal,
  • 17%in every era, God calls to everyone: ‘Where are you in this world? How far have you got with your allotted tasks?’
  • 29%God does not expect to learn something he does not know; what he wants is to produce an effect in man which can only be produced by just such a question, provided that it reaches man’s heart—that man allows it to reach his heart.
  • 29%every man is Adam and finds himself in Adam’s situation. To escape responsibility for his life, he turns existence into a system of hideouts. And in thus hiding again and again ‘from the face of God’, he enmeshes himself more and more deeply in perversity.
  • 32%whatever power he may attain and whatever deeds he may do, his life will remain way-less, so long as he does not face the Voice.
  • 33%the saying of our sages: “Consider three things. Know whence you came, whither you are going, and to whom you will have to render accounts.”
  • 43%God does not say: ‘This way leads to me and that does not’, but he says: ‘Whatever you do may be a way to me, provided you do it in such a manner that it leads you to me.’
  • 44%the way by which a man can reach God is revealed to him only through the knowledge of his own being, the knowledge of his essential quality and inclination.
  • 49%never should asceticism gain mastery over a man’s life. A man may only detach himself from nature in order to revert to it again and, in hallowed contact with it, find his way to God.
  • 54%fasting could serve this purpose in the initial stage of a person’s development and also later, at critical moments of his life.
  • 62%A man who thus becomes a unit of body and spirit—he is the man whose work is all of a piece.
  • 67%real transformation, real restoration, at first of the single person and subsequently of the relationship between him and his fellow-men, can only be achieved by the comprehension of the whole as a whole.
  • 68%a man should himself realize that conflict-situations between himself and others are nothing but the effects of conflict-situations in his own soul; then he should try to overcome this inner conflict, so that afterwards he may go out to his fellow-men and enter into new, transformed relationships with them.
  • 70%When a man has made peace within himself, he will be able to make peace in the whole world.’
  • 71%in what the decisive inner conflict consists. It is the conflict between three principles in man’s being and life, the principle of thought, the principle of speech, and the principle of action. The origin of all conflict between me and my fellow-men is that I do not say what I mean, and that I do not do what I say. For this confuses and poisons, again and again
  • 77%To begin with oneself, but not to end with oneself; to start from oneself, but not to aim at oneself; to comprehend oneself, but not to be preoccupied with oneself.
  • 81%it is written: “Depart from evil and do good”—turn wholly away from evil, do not dwell upon it, and do good. You have done wrong? Then counteract it by doing right.’
  • 85%Only when pride subjects itself to humility can it be redeemed; and only when it is redeemed, can the world be redeemed.
  • 85%Rabbi Mendel of Kotzk, once said to his congregation: ‘What, after all, do I demand of you? Only three things: not to look furtively outside yourselves, not to look furtively into others, and not to aim at yourselves.’
  • 99%‘God dwells wherever man lets him in.’ This is the ultimate purpose: to let God in. But we can let him in only where we really stand, where we live, where we live a true life.