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Jewish Media Review -
A Touch of the Sacred is a theological memoir, a collection of powerful, soul-strengthening musings from the leading theologian of liberal Judaism. It is edited for lay audiences by Frances Schwartz, adult learning coordinator of the Union for Reform Judaism.
In the Introduction, Borowitz informs us: "Too often, books on religion are written either primarily for the head or for the heart—as if thinking people don't also feel intuitively, and spiritual types never think much at all. Bosh! Here is our special mix for you…. It is our hope that these pieces will serve as unique windows into Judaism—in bite-size, sacred 'touches’."
For the first time, Dr. Eugene Borowitz, the “dean” of liberal Jewish theologians, opens his heart as well as his mind as he talks about the mix of faith and doubt, of knowing and not-knowing—the elements of Jewish belief—in an easily accessible style. In these pages, Borowitz shares with the reader his rich inner life, which draws from both the rational and mystical Jewish thought that have inspired two generations of rabbis, cantors, and educators. Borowitz explores such themes as Seeking the Sacred One, Doing Holy Deeds, Creating Sacred Community, Reading Sacred Texts, Thinking about Holiness, Learning from Holy Thinkers and much more…
This is not Prof. Borowitz’s most profound, academic or deep book, but it is a powerful personal collection of his thoughts on Jewish theology, Torah, revelation, ritual, the Jewish people, and a variety of other topics, after having taught at HUC-JIR for over 50 years, and lectured in congregations throughout the world. It is an enjoyable and fascinating read – as is anything by Gene Borowitz. We are blessed to have him as our teacher.
God In All Moments contains mystical and practical wisdom—for daily life. The least known of the Hasidic masters’ teachings—the hanhagot, or “spiritual practices”—are at the heart of this book. These short lists of instructions were created for their followers, inspirational treasures intended to be carried with you at all times. They were to be read again and again—providing spiritual guidance, centering, and aid in bringing joy and God’s presence into daily life. Practical, personal, and wise, these brief teachings range from straightforward instructions to visualization exercises, meditations, and mantras. Also included are the hanhagot of two neo-Hasidic thinkers: the modern journalist and mystic Hillel Zeitlin (1871–1942), and the contemporary theologian Arthur Green. As reviewer Rabbi Edward Feinstein writes on the back cover, “We open this book and come upon a hidden treasure of Jewish wisdom and insight. Or Rose has provided the key to the luminous riches of Hasidic thought and life.” In modern transpersonal psychology these “hanhagot” might be called “affirmations,” which I have found to be very helpful in my own spiritual development. An extremely important contribution to our understanding of Hasidut, and to our own spiritual growth.