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Inviting God In: Celebrating the Soul-Meaning of the Jewish Holy Days

Overview

This warm, inspiring look at the Jewish holidays—by one of the most dynamic and accessible teachers of Jewish thought today—shows us how each holy day empowers us to recognize God's loving presence in our life every day.

There are many books that discuss how to celebrate the holidays; Inviting God In explains why we should celebrate. Using biblical references, anecdotes, and teaching tales, Rabbi David Aaron takes us through the Jewish calendar year and explains how each ...

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Inviting God In: Celebrating the Soul-Meaning of the Jewish Holy Days

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Overview

This warm, inspiring look at the Jewish holidays—by one of the most dynamic and accessible teachers of Jewish thought today—shows us how each holy day empowers us to recognize God's loving presence in our life every day.

There are many books that discuss how to celebrate the holidays; Inviting God In explains why we should celebrate. Using biblical references, anecdotes, and teaching tales, Rabbi David Aaron takes us through the Jewish calendar year and explains how each holiday—from the most joyous to the most somber—reveals God's ever-present love for us. Passover, for example, celebrates unconditional love; Shavuot reminds us of freedom and our power to take responsiblity; Rosh Hashanah is about the joy of accountability and Yom Kippur sanctifies compassion and forgiveness. Rabbi Aaron helps us to awaken our soulful connection to the dramatic events that occured on those days, and to experience the holidays as opportunities to revitalize our personal relationship with God.

Rabbi Aaron is an enthusiastic guide, and his fresh view of the holidays will enliven and enrich traditional celebration. Inviting God In will inspire both practicing Jews who want to reinvigorate their observance of the holidays and secular Jews searching for a meaningful way to reconnect with their Jewish roots.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Aaron’s accessible explanations make difficult mystical concepts easy to understand, especially when he offers clever, offbeat analogies. . . . Aaron’s book will provide sincere guidance toward recovering a tender, untarnished meaning of the Jewish holidays.”—Publishers Weekly

"A spiritually rousing book. . . . In a warm, easy-to-read style, and radiating an enthusiasm that is contagious, Aaron explores the deeper meaning behind nine Jewish holidays."—Cleveland Jewish News

"This is a wonderfully inspiring book! Rabbi Aaron makes you fall in love with God and with the depth and wisdom of Judaism."—Dr. Miriam Adahan, author of You are a Jewel

"The Jewish holidays are not only profoundly deep but spiritually thrilling. If you are looking to discover the rich, inspirational tapestry of the holiday cycle, then Rabbi David Aaron is the teacher for you."—Shimon Apisdorf, cofounder of the Jewish Literacy Fund

"Contemporary, meaningful, and witty. Inviting God In is an excellent spiritual tour and guide through the Jewish year."—Rabbi Nissan Dovid Dubov, author of  The Key to Kabbalah: Discovering Jewish Mysticism

"Inviting God In has a lot to teach all of us, about God and about ourselves."—Rabbi Joseph Telushkin

Publishers Weekly
Aaron, a teacher of mysticism in Jerusalem, focuses on one word not usually used to describe Jewish holiday themes and observances: love. Yes, he says, Rosh Hashanah is about accountability and Hanukkah is about hope. Yes, Yom Kippur is about forgiveness and Purim is about trust. But every holiday shares one unifying ingredient not usually stirred into the Jewish recipe for the holidays: God's love. A Jewish holiday, called a mo'ed, a fixed time or date, allows us a "date with God" so that we can remember a dramatic moment in God's loving presence. Each chapter describes the "soul-meaning"-a term Aaron doesn't define-of a different holiday, an aspect of God's unconditional love. Aaron's accessible explanations make difficult mystical concepts easy to understand, especially when he offers clever, offbeat analogies. The Torah is like a love letter you read and reread. Revelation is like the traffic report on the radio, with God as the traffic helicopter deciphering patterns from above. The tragedy, says Aaron, is that today many of us are not even looking for God. For those who are, Aaron's book will provide sincere guidance toward uncovering a tender, untarnished meaning of the Jewish holidays. (Aug. 8) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
There are numerous volumes that take readers through the courses of time-tested prayer and recurring ritual observance, Christian and Jewish alike many of them having been reviewed in this column. This book, by Aaron (Seeing God: Ten Life-Changing Lessons of the Kaballah), the son of a Holocaust survivor, differs from the lot in its brevity and directness of approach to the meanings of Judaism's ritual practice. Addressing the important holidays of Passover, Shavuot, Tisha B'Av, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Purim, and others, Aaron always finds a way even in paradox to celebrate God or faith in God. As he says in his conclusion, "Each Jewish holy day celebrates a vital aspect of God's timeless love for us." Most Jewish readers will enjoy this charming and thoughtful book. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590304587
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/2007
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi David Aaron, the son of a Holocaust survivor, has struggled since early youth to understand the world's potential for hatred and paradoxical yearning for meaning, love, and creativity. His own spiritual journey led him to Israel, where he studied Torah and Jewish mysticism under the tutelage of the great masters. He received his rabbinical ordination in 1979 from the Israel Torah Research Institute (Yeshivat ITRI). A popular lecturer in North America and a frequent guest on radio and TV, he is the founder and dean of Isralight (www.isralight.org), an international organization with programs throughout North America, South Africa, and Israel. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Chana, and their seven children and three grandchildren. For more information visit www.rabbidavidaaron.com.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Author's Note     xi
Introduction: It's a Holiday!     1
Passover: Celebrating Unconditional Love     5
Shavuot: Celebrating Responsibility and Freedom     23
Tisha B'Av: Celebrating Loss and Sadness     50
Rosh Hashanah: Celebrating Accountability     72
Yom Kippur: Celebrating Forgiveness     101
Sukkot and Simchat Torah: Celebrating Wholeness, Spontaneity, and Anticipation     121
Chanukah: Celebrating Hope     143
Tu B'Shvat: Celebrating Pleasure     157
Purim: Celebrating Trust     170
Conclusion: Love Is the Answer     184
Invitation to the Reader     189
About the Author     191
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