Leading scholars and teachers share their favorite texts of the Jewish mystical tradition—many available in English for the first time—and explore why these materials are meaningful and relevant to us today. New in paperback!
In this unique volume, some of Judaism’s most insightful contemporary thinkers bring the words of sages past to bear on the present. They explore how we can become closer to God through our relationships with others, our observance at home and our actions in the world, asking:
- What do mitzvot have to do with mysticism?
- Is spirituality selfish?
- Can mysticism enhance community?
Organized thematically, each section focuses on how mysticism engages and complements the dimensions of religious life, including studying Torah, performing mitzvot and observing halakhah.
“Readable and vital.... Noteworthy.... A wonderful overview of how an eclectic group of teachers find[s] contemporary meaning.”
—Jewish Daily Forward
“Informative, thought-provoking, and has good ideas.... Worthwhile reading even for non-mystics and especially for the mystically-minded.”
“A dazzling collection that displays the concerns and insights that animate the [mystical and Hasidic] texts and traditions…. A spiritual feast of religious meaning for those who enter its pages.”
—Rabbi David Ellenson, PhD, president, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion
“Helpful.... Leads to fresh probes on ... connections with others, the development of the sacred self and a new piety.”
—Spirituality & Practice
“Has much to offer the modern Jew.... Offering a good deal of thought and enlightenment ... sure to bring many readers into an interest in the mystic tradition.”
“An illuminating and often moving collection that reflects the breadth and depth of contemporary interest in these texts as guides to Jewish spirituality and practice in our time.”
—Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, author, The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious
—Jewish Ideas Daily
“A masterpiece that could itself become a classic text of Jewish spiritual thinking.... A must for anyone serious about Jewish spiritual thought.”
“A landmark collection that deserves to be read and reread. The diverse insights draw the seeker into the wisdom of Judaism in a way that may draw them into the community of practice as well.”
—Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author, Hasidic Tales: Annotated & Explained and Ecclesiastes: Annotated & Explained
“Very accessible ... offer[s] insights in[to] the mystical revival of Jewish theology and spiritual practice.... Touching.... Highly recommended to the spiritual seeker.”
—Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter
“Insightfully illuminates the broad, oft-overlooked mystical dimensions of Judaism. Insightfully illuminates the broad, oft-overlooked mystical dimensions of Judaism.”
“Illuminates and probes deeply in multiple fields while speaking to engaged spiritual seekers and scholars. Studded with gems, often overflowing with learning and insights. All who want to grow spiritually, live more deeply, to both connect to tradition and renew it will find something to nurture their souls in this book.”
—Rabbi Irving Greenberg, founding president, Jewish Life Network; founding president, Clal: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
“Everyone interested in Jewish thought and the spiritual life will be greatly enriched by this splendid collection.”
—Jewish Media Review
“Intelligent ... [a] relevant and timely understanding of the subject. Focused and deeply religious ... [it] will certainly delight scholars in the field.”
“An orchard of spiritual pomegranates, tended by some of today’s most gifted Jewish scholars. A delight to read.”
—Jay Michaelson, author, Everything Is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism and God in Your Body: Kabbalah, Mindfulness and Embodied Spiritual Practice
“Provides both mysticism experts and novices with an array of esoteric and relevant materials for contemplation and action on dimensions of Jewish spirituality, including prayer, meditation, interpersonal relations, Torah study and ritual observance.”
—Jewish Book Watch
Yehonatan Chipman • Mimi Feigelson • Lawrence Fine • Eitan Fishbane • Michael Fishbane • Nancy Flam • Everett Gendler • Joel Hecker • Shai Held • Melila Hellner-Eshed • Barry W. Holtz • Jeremy Kalmanofsky • Judith A. Kates • Lawrence Kushner • Ebn Leader • Shaul Magid • Ron Margolin • Daniel Matt • Haviva Pedaya • Nehemia Polen • Neal and Carol Rose • Or N. Rose • Zalman Schachter-Shalomi • Jonathan P. Slater • Gordon Tucker • Sheila Peltz Weinberg • Chava Weissler
Lawrence Fine, Irene Kaplan Leiwant Professor of Jewish Studies at Mount Holyoke College, is author of Physician of the Soul, Healer of the Cosmos: Isaac Luria and His Kabbalistic Fellowship, and other books.
Eitan Fishbane, assistant professor of Jewish thought at The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, is author of As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist.
Eitan Fishbane is available to speak on the following topics:
- God and Theology
Or N. Rose, associate dean at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, is coeditor of God in All Moments: Mystical & Practical Spiritual Wisdom from Hasidic Masters and Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings from around the Maggid's Table, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (all Jewish Lights).