Find inspiration for a satisfying spiritual life of practice through the combination of contemporary mindfulness meditation and classical Hasidic spirituality.
The soul yearns to feel connected to something greater and to know happiness despite personal suffering and seemingly endless need. Surprisingly, the perspectives of the late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Hasidic spiritual teachers offer a radically different Jewish theology that speaks directly to today’s spiritual seekers whose faith has been shattered by both modernity and the Holocaust. These masters taught of interdependence, interconnectedness, selflessness, service and joy, anticipating the insights of contemporary science and twenty-first-century spirituality.
Bringing together the teachings of beloved Hasidic master Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev (1740–1809) and the practice of mindfulness meditation, Rabbi Jonathan P. Slater reveals a new entrance into Jewish spiritual life. Covering the Five Books of Moses, these two volumes present accessible translations of selections from Kedushat Levi, R. Levi Yitzhak’s Hasidic Torah commentary, which emphasizes our spiritual capacity to transform consciousness and so our life experience. The selections are paired with Rabbi Slater’s commentaries to illuminate their message.
“The lessons in Kedushat Levi were not originally intended as intellectual curiosities or as demonstrations of R. Levi Yitzhak’s brilliance. They were meant to inspire religious passion and deeper spiritual practice. I believe that these teachings will come to life in us when we bring them into our lives in practice.”
—from the Introduction
Reviews for A Partner in Holiness Volume 1
“A refreshingly original and profound presentation of the work of [this] Hasidic master…. Slater translates and explains the text brilliantly.”
—Jonathan Omer-Man, founder, Metivta: A Center for Contemplative Judaism
“An extraordinary resource for a journey of discovering the power of Torah to open minds, hearts and souls, and maybe even change lives.”
—Rabbi Laura Geller, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills
“The wisdom here is real and deep, the love is nourishing and transparent. A double treasure: two mindful giants joining to reverberate the wisdom of ages past into the crevices of our hungry hearts.”
—Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, DHL, vice president, American Jewish University; author, God of Becoming and Relationship: The Dynamic Nature of Process Theology
“Slater is meticulous as translator, patient and unhurried as expositor, and compassionately open-hearted as spiritual guide—just the kind of person you would trust to lead you on the most important, most exhilarating trek of all. [This book] is exactly that: a good friend, haver tov—the highest accolade in the Hasidic path.”
—Nehemia Polen, professor of Jewish thought, Hebrew College
“God may have split the Reed Sea once, but Slater splits open the ocean of Reb Levi Yitzhak with every page of this book! He compassionately stewards a call for personal responsibility, integrity and ownership as we surrender to the Call of the Divine.”
—Reb Mimi Feigelson, Mashpia Ruchanit (www.zieglertorah.org)
Reviews for A Partner in Holiness Volume 2
“The rediscovery of Hasidic texts as Jewish sources for contemporary spirituality will be greatly aided by [this] book…. It is almost as if the teacher were present in the same room with the student. Levi Isaac would be pleased.”
—Rabbi Michael Strassfeld, author, A Book of Life: Embracing Judaism as a Spiritual Practice
“Create[s] a powerful spiritual language for the twenty-first century.... Offers a way to wake up to life that will transform the Jewish people and speak to all seekers.”
—Rabbi Barbara Penzner, Temple Hillel B’nai Torah, West Roxbury, Massachusetts
“Skillfully presents us with practical tools to use mindfulness and Torah to craft a path of daily practice to realize a spiritual life. In so doing, the reader who uses these tools in their life will be able to directly experience their connection to the Divine while making a positive impact on the world.”
—Rabbi Jeff Roth, author, Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life: Awakening Your Heart, Connecting with God
“Offers us a beautiful blend of erudition and spiritual wisdom.... This book has everything a contemporary student of Jewish spirituality needs: serious Torah, tools to aid understanding of the text, and a wealth of suggestions for how to allow the Rebbe’s teachings to invigorate and transform our own spiritual lives.”
—Rabbi Amy Eilberg, author, From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Wisdom on the Pursuit of Peace
“Deeply wise and inspired.... This is not a book to ‘read.’ It is a nourishing wellspring. Return to it again and again as you grow and deepen your practice and water the garden of your soul.”
—Marcia Prager, author, The Path of Blessing: Experiencing the Energy and Abundance of the Divine
Arthur Green is the Irving Brudnick professor of philosophy and religion at Hebrew College and rector of the Rabbinical School, which he founded in 2004. He is coauthor of Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings from around the Maggid’s Table (Jewish Lights), among other books.
Rabbi Nancy Flam is codirector of programs at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. She was the first director of the Institute and a cofounder of the Jewish Healing Center in 1991.