Reclaiming Judaism as a Spiritual Practice: Holy Days and Shabbat

Overview

Wake up your Jewish spiritual life and restore your soul.

“Has your heart ever been broken—by loss, divorce, disappointment, awe, fear, hope? Have you multitasked, worked past the level of your endurance, accumulated possessions, jumped the hurdles, and gotten the grades only to wonder, “Is that all there is?” Do you wish for a life that is physically grounded, emotionally satisfying, intellectually expansive, and profoundly connected? These are the qualities Judaism can provide...

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Reclaiming Judaism as a Spiritual Practice: Holy Days and Shabbat

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Overview

Wake up your Jewish spiritual life and restore your soul.

“Has your heart ever been broken—by loss, divorce, disappointment, awe, fear, hope? Have you multitasked, worked past the level of your endurance, accumulated possessions, jumped the hurdles, and gotten the grades only to wonder, “Is that all there is?” Do you wish for a life that is physically grounded, emotionally satisfying, intellectually expansive, and profoundly connected? These are the qualities Judaism can provide when you understand how to practice it.”
—from the Introduction

This inspiring guidebook is your wake-up call for understanding the powerful intellectual and emotional tools that are essential for a lively, relevant, and fulfilling Jewish spiritual practice.

Designed to become a lifelong resource for holy days and Shabbat, it presents Judaism as an evolving tradition in which you are the entrusted heir. The exercises and practices draw from the foundations of Judaism and empower you to create meaningful, satisfying, contemporary Jewish experiences for how you live today.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Judaism that Rabbi Milgram describes growing up with-"desiccated, disappointing, depressing, and quite frankly, boring"-is what she hopes to counteract in this guide to Jewish holidays and Shabbat, designed to restore the soul of the tradition through a variety of Jewish practices. Structured as a tasting menu with "recipes" to enrich religious experience, the book is divided into two lopsided parts: holidays (150 pages) and Shabbat (30 pages), followed by a 20-page glossary. Each chapter explains history and customs, provides contemporary relevance, presents creative perspectives and raises provocative questions. Milgram, a self-described "postdenominational, or reconformadox" rabbi and teacher, promotes a Judaism that is "inclusive, egalitarian, nonhierarchical [and] nontriumphalist," but sometimes New Agey and overly saccharine. (An example of a "forgiveness call" before Yom Kippur begins: "Sandra? This is Reb Goldie. I feel there is some negative energy between us....") Milgram proposes Sukkot visualizations, especially for those who work indoors all day, allowing them to reconnect to nature; a "spiritual menu" for a Passover seder; a "Shabbat box" in which to deposit cell phones, TV remotes and disruptive thoughts that belong to the workday world; and even a meditation for preparing and baking challah. For those who want to sample Judaism's sensible and spiritual diet, Milgram's guide whets the appetite, pointing them toward enjoying the entire meal. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580232050
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/1/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 7.08 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi Goldie Milgram is founder and executive director of ReclaimingJudaism.org, offering seminars and Web-based resources on the application of Jewish spiritual practice for spiritual seekers and teachers. Passionate about bringing spirituality back into Jewish life, she is well known for over thirty years of innovations in Jewish life—in contexts as diverse as Esalen, Elat Chayyim, Princeton University and Bard College, the United Jewish Communities, Hadassah Foundation, and in the training of rabbis and cantors for almost seven years as dean at the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York City. She is also author of Living Jewish Life Cycle: How to Create Meaningful Jewish Rites of Passage at Every Stage of Life; Reclaiming Judaism as a Spiritual Practice: Holy Days and Shabbat; Meaning and Mitzvah: Daily Practices for Reclaiming Judaism through Prayer, God, Torah, Hebrew, Mitzvot and Peoplehood (both Jewish Lights); and Make Your Own Bar/Bat Mitzvah: A Personal Approach to Creating a Meaningful Rite of Passage.

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Table of Contents

Introduction PART ONE: RECLAIMING HOLY DAYS 01 Understanding the High Holy Day Season 02 Sukkot: Community and Meditation in Nature 03 Simhat Torah: The Practice of Scroll Reversal 04 Hanukkah: A Celebration of Holy Hutzpah 05 Tu Bi-Shevat: Fruit for Thought 06 Purim: Odd Lots of Spirit 07 Passover: Learning the Exodus Process 08 Shavuot: Renewing Vision 09 Yom HaShoah, Yom HaAtzmaut, and Tisha b' Av: Healing from the Hard Knocks of History 10 Rosh Hodesh and Kiddush Levanah: Revitalizing Natural Cycles PART TWO: RECLAIMING THE SABBATH Glossary Suggestions for Further Reading Index

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2005

    Spiritual Guidance for applying Jewish Wisdom in daily practice~Read this book! Be amazed with your Spiritual Awakenings!

    Rabbi Milgram's books are a delight to read: Reclaiming Judaism as a Spiritual Practice-Holy Days and Shabbat, and Meaning of Mitzvah: Reclaiming Judaism through Daily Practices of Prayer, God, Torah, Hebrew, Mitzvot & Peoplehood and in my opinion are theological classics. Rabbi Milgram presents the liturgy in such a warm hearted, scholarly, and alive way that I must tell you I could not put the books down and was disappointed when I finished them thirsting for more insight, knowledge, and integration. Rabbi Milgram has a natural talent delivering the information to the reader in such a flowing manner that one can easily travel with her on the journey toward spiritual development and enlightenment. I highly recommend these beautiful books for spiritual insight, clarity, and daily inspiration. I reference Rabbi Milgram's teachings often for the wisdom of her spiritual guidance. She is truly a modern day Jewish heroine and as you read her words you will recognize she is truly a modern day sage.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2004

    Recipes for Living Right Jewishly

    Everyone loves a new recipe to try out on themselves and their family. I learned to appreciate the things that nourished me from my grandmother, my baubbie, who would wake up early in the morning to cook and to bake for her children and grandchildren. As a teenager, I watched her as she prepared several dishes of delight, copying down the recipes as she baked. Some of those recipes from my childhood lost something in the translation. Who remembered that a cup of flour was measured in a yahrzeit glass rather than a measuring cup! In ¿Reclaiming Judaism As a Spiritual Practice¿ the recipes that Rabbi Goldie Milgram dishes up, have that same wonderful feelings that were a part of my upbringing. Her recipes for spicing up the Shabbat and the other holidays of the Jewish calendar have added a new dimension to what I claim from my past. I am indebted to Rabbi Milgram for sharing with us a path to see these holy days in a new and vibrant way that does not depart from what we have been accustomed to in our past. I plan to share some of her recipes with my congregation during this coming year, beginning with the Sephardi Blessing Feast to feed our bodies and then onto the Teshuvah Forgiveness Walks to nourish our souls. I hope that you will enjoy the spiritual practices in this book, as much as I have enjoyed my baubbie¿s recipes for a spiritual life through her cooking rituals.

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