Seek My Face: A Jewish Mystical Theology / Edition 1

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Overview

The new Jewish spirituality lies somewhere between God's elusive presence in our world and our search for authentic language to describe it. Personal journeys seldom have a clear beginning, and they rarely have a definite end. If there is an end to our journey, surely it is one that leads to some measure of wisdom, and thence back to its own beginning. But somewhere along the way, we come to realize that we must know where we have been going, why we have been going. Most of all, we come to understand as best we can the One who sends us on our way. —from the Introduction Rabbi Arthur Green leads us on a journey of discovery to seek God, the world, and ourselves. One of the most influential Jewish thinkers of our time, Green has created a roadmap of meaning for our lives in the light of Jewish mysticism, using the Hebrew letters that make up the divine name: Yod— Reality at the beginning. God as the oneness of being at the outset, before it unfolds into our universe. Heh— Creation and God’s presence in the world. A renewed faith in God as Creator has powerful implications for us today. Vav— Revelation, the central faith claim of Judaism and the claim it makes on our lives. Heh— Redemption and our return to God through the life of Torah and by participating in the ongoing repair of the world. A personal and honest framework of understanding for the seeker, this revised and updated edition of a classic sheds new light on our search for the divine presence in our everyday lives.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580231305
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2003
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 308
  • Sales rank: 960,399
  • Product dimensions: 0.69 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Arthur Green, PhD, is recognized as one of the world's preeminent authorities on Jewish thought and spirituality. He is the Irving Brudnick professor of philosophy and religion at Hebrew College and rector of the Rabbinical School, which he founded in 2004. Professor emeritus at Brandeis University, he also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where he served as dean and president.

Dr. Green is author of several books including Ehyeh: A Kabbalah for Tomorrow; Seek My Face: A Jewish Mystical Theology; Your Word Is Fire: The Hasidic Masters on Contemplative Prayer; and Tormented Master: The Life and Spiritual Quest of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav (all Jewish Lights). He is also author of Radical Judaism (Yale University Press) and co-editor of Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings from around the Maggid's Table. He is long associated with the Havurah movement and a neo-Hasidic approach to Judaism.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. 1 God and the Ways of Being
The Secret of the Sh'ma 3
God Above, God within 8
The Two and the One 11
God as Y-H-W-H: "Is - Was - Will Be" is One! 16
Speak My Name 19
Seeking God: Look First to Love 23
In God's Own Image: Seek My Face 27
Face to Face 34
Male and Female: An Excursus 36
One and Two 41
Pt. 2 Creation
One God, Two Ways 47
Creation and the Jewish Question 49
Creation and the Struggle for Faith 53
What Comes "First"? 55
Two Tales 58
The One and the Many 60
Who is at the Center? 64
Evolution: An Ongoing Process 68
From Aggadah to Halakhah 72
The First Mitzvah: Be Aware 75
In God's Image 77
Celebrating Creation: The Mitzvah of Shabbat 80
"To Work It and Guard It": Preserving God's World 82
Vegetarianism: A Kashrut for Our Age 85
Human Love and Human Pain 89
The Human Being: Bearer of Divine Compassion 92
Pt. 3 Revelation
Y-H-W-H and Language 97
Before the Mountain 99
Human Understanding and Divine Speech 103
The Inner Mountain 106
Torah as the Name of God 110
Revelation and the Inward Journey 113
The Role of Covenant: A Reinterpretation 115
Revelation and Torah 119
Revelation, Will, and Law 122
The Personal, Path: Accepting the Yoke 127
Sinai and Language 131
Sinai and Study 133
Sinai and Community 136
The Three Festivals: Sinai and the Sacred Cycle 138
The Word in Our Day 143
Pt. 4 Redemption
The Light of the First Day 149
Crying Out for the Light 151
Redemption as Coming Home 154
The Bible: A Tale of Exile 158
Homecoming and Teshuvah 164
Teshuvah and the Sacred Year 166
The Redemptive Task, Getting to Work 170
Redemption and the Messianic Dream 174
Messiah: Actor or Herald? 177
Seeking Out Our Sparks of Light 181
Notes 184
Glossary 265
About Jewish Lights 270
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