Sacred Therapy: Jewish Spiritual Teachings on Emotional Healing and Inner Wholeness

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In Sacred Therapy Estelle Frankel travels to the heart of Jewish mysticism to reveal how people of any faith can draw upon this rich body of teachings to gain wisdom, clarity, and a deeper sense of meaning in the midst of modern life. In an engaging and accessible style, Frankel brings together tales and teachings from the Bible, the Talmud, Kabbalah, and the Hasidic traditions as well as evocative case studies and stories from her own life to create an original, inspirational guide to emotional healing and ...
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Overview

In Sacred Therapy Estelle Frankel travels to the heart of Jewish mysticism to reveal how people of any faith can draw upon this rich body of teachings to gain wisdom, clarity, and a deeper sense of meaning in the midst of modern life. In an engaging and accessible style, Frankel brings together tales and teachings from the Bible, the Talmud, Kabbalah, and the Hasidic traditions as well as evocative case studies and stories from her own life to create an original, inspirational guide to emotional healing and spiritual growth.
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Editorial Reviews

Science and Theology News
...a practical exploration of how humans can heal and be whole...credibly researched, thoughtfully written...applicable to all.
April 2004
Presence Magazine
a stunning breadth of knowledge..a profound depth of understanding.. a breathtaking glimpse of the transformative potential of this ancient..tradition.
Oct. 2004
Publishers Weekly
"There is nothing more whole than a broken heart," taught Hasidic master Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotsk. Frankel cites that paradoxical wisdom as well as other biblical, Hasidic, Talmudic and kabbalistic traditions to shape her thesis: healing begins with brokenness and leads to transformation, wholeheartedness and renewal. As a psychotherapist and teacher of Jewish mysticism, Frankel integrates the psyche and spirit so they "flow as two currents in a single stream, creating a synergistic healing power." She uses the kabbalistic myth of the shattered vessels to mirror the inevitability of brokenness in our lives, the broken tablets at Sinai as a metaphor for imperfection, the Exodus from Egypt as a reflection of change and self-liberation and the process of teshuvah (repentance) and the High Holiday cycle as paradigms for healing. "Locating ourselves in Jewish myth and metaphor," she says, can lessen the sense of isolation in suffering, as well as enlarge our identities through spiritual awareness. The book is divided into three parts: kabbalistic cosmology and healing; healing and birthing the self; and wholeness and integration. Client case studies and reflections on her own life focus on common psychological complaints: a broken heart, transition, loss, depression and illness. Suggestions for guided meditations and spiritual rituals give readers practical ways to be "healed by, or in spite of, whatever illnesses and difficulties we face in our lives." Those familiar with the concept of tikkun olam-repairing the world-will discover here its more personal and interconnected form-tikkun nefesh: healing our own souls. (Dec.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Psychotherapist Frankel draws on the Torah, the Talmud, and the Kabala to provide a Jewish perspective on the universal issues of pain, healing, and growth that are faced in a therapist's office. Throughout, Frankel interweaves her personal story and experiences with Judaism with her accounts of working with clients. Her background knowledge is extensive and she readily quotes from an impressive variety of sources to illustrate her points. Her use of Kabalistic cosmology-involving shattered vessels and sparks of light to reflect on emotional pain, broken-heartedness, and separation-is especially strong and moving, as is her linking of these themes with the image of the broken tablets of the law at Mt. Sinai. The book seems to be written for both clients and therapists. It is more substantive than a typical self-help book and would be best used by someone with a strong connection to Judaism. Therapists who include a spiritual perspective in their work would likely benefit from the many moving metaphors and images Frankel illuminates. Recommended for academic and public libraries.-Stephen Joseph, Butler Cty. Community Coll. Lib., PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Frankel exhibits a stunning breadth of knowledge, particularly of Judaism's rich mystical tradition, and a profound depth of understanding of emotional and spiritual development."—Jewish Woman Magazine

"Her use of Kabalistic cosmology to reflect on emotional pain, broken-heartedness, and separation is especially strong and moving."—Library Journal

"Frankel has done an impressive job of blending ancient Jewish wisdom with modern psychology to fashion a powerful force for healing."—Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

"I highly recommend this compelling book to readers from all backgrounds, for its wisdom is rich and universal."—David A. Cooper, author of God Is a Verb

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570629976
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/13/2004
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Estelle Frankel is a practicing psychotherapist and a seasoned teacher of Jewish mysticism and meditation. She was ordained as a rabbinic pastor and spiritual guide (mashpiah ruchanit) by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and is one of the spiritual leaders of her local Jewish Renewal community. Estelle has taught widely in the United States and in Israel, where she lived for over eight years, and is currently on the core faculty of Chochmat Halev: Wisdom of the Heart Meditation Center. She lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband and two children.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2007

    Although, the subject matter was foreign in the perspective presented, the author presented it in easy to grasp terms and analogies.

    As the subject depicts, 'Sacred Therapy,' the book brings tremendous enlightment and healing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2004

    Sacred Therapy, a precious resource for emotional healing

    I highly recommend Sacred Therapy, by Estelle Frankel. It is both a thoroughly enjoyable book to read and also full of useful teachings that can help us lead our lives in a more mindful way. The stories mostly come from the Jewish tradition and are often both entertaining and instructive. The chapter that focused on seeing the good in others particularly resonated with me. It might sound like a simple minded idea however, as explained by Frankel, it is a very powerful practice. It can transform how we relate to others and also help to transform those we interact with in our lives. This is just one of many wise teachings found in Sacred Therapy. I highly recommend Frankel's book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2004

    Absolutely Wonderful!

    Frankel has written about a complex topic in a manner that is personal and inviting. Whether you are Jewish or not, spiritual or not, interested in therapy or not, the book is welcoming and accessible. The many parables and quotes from Rabbis through history are wonderfully apt. The book has a quality of deep teaching. The writing flows effortlessly. This is a book to enjoy the first time through, and to re-read and refer to throughout the course of a lifetime.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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