Spiritual Judaism: Restoring Heart and Soul to Jewish Life

Overview

Spiritual Judaism is for seekers who wish to rediscover the spiritual teachings and customs of traditional Judaism as a living source of inspiration that draws faithfully on the past but looks boldy to the future.

Throughout this groundbreaking book, president of the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies David S. Ariel, Ph.D., includes explanations about the inward path of Judaism based on the experience and wisdom of those who came before, and on what we understand today. But he ...

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1998 Hard cover First edition. New in new dust jacket. Tight binding with clean text. New Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 336 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

Spiritual Judaism is for seekers who wish to rediscover the spiritual teachings and customs of traditional Judaism as a living source of inspiration that draws faithfully on the past but looks boldy to the future.

Throughout this groundbreaking book, president of the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies David S. Ariel, Ph.D., includes explanations about the inward path of Judaism based on the experience and wisdom of those who came before, and on what we understand today. But he also includes a guide to the outward path, the way to turn spiritual values into concrete expressions in daily living.

Spiritual Judaism is the first and best guide to restoring heart and soul to Jewish life. It will show you how to live a spiritual Jewish life, how to create a spiritual Jewish education for our children, how to create a spiritual congregation, how to give meaning to prayer and personal practice, and how to deal with the challenges of human life, including how to find holiness in the everyday and how to face suffering and loss. It provides practical solutions for Jews who are searching for spirituality, authenticity, and a sense of connectedness with others.

Spirituality in a Jewish context is a celebration of the God within each of us, within the soul, and throughout the world. Spiritual Judaism goes back to this ideal, teaching the Jewish spiritual tradition and its practical applications in the everyday lives of Jews. It incorporates the best spiritual traditions of the past with the Judaism of today and finds the clearing, rekindles the fire, and celebrates the enduring melody of Judaism.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
According to Ariel (What Do Jews Believe?), many Jews are alienated from their faith and find it difficult to incorporate their Jewish heritage into everyday life. While Jewish spirituality follows an inward path, Ariel contends, the externals of the Jewish traditions like scripture and ritual can be made a part of daily life. For example, Ariel argues that we can connect our own personal spirituality to the Torah. The voice of God resides in the sacred texts of Judaism, and we can become an ear that hears what the universe is saying to us. Ariel also describes the stages of human development as steps on the way to growing into the image of God. The author argues that the best way for alienated Jews to reclaim the fire of their traditions is for Jewish congregations to study and to mature together in their spiritual journey. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Writing to help Jews who want to know more about the spiritual aspects of their religion but are not ready to involve themselves in a traditional, congregational setting, Ariel (president, Cleveland Coll. of Jewish Studies) approaches Judaism by examining Hasidic and Kabbalistic literature and by focusing on problems of God, prayer, and our place in the universe. The chapters on prayer and the development of the different branches of Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist) are especially strong. This book will be most helpful to Jews seeking a more mystical, meditative approach to the religious process. Those seeking a more rational treatment will prefer Rabbi Harold Schulweis's For Those Who Cannot Believe (HarperPerennial, 1994). Though the book lacks an index, the resources section gives excellent overview of materials covering Torah study and spiritual Judaism in general. Recommended for public and academic libraries.--Olga Bornstein-Wise, Compaq Computers Tandem Division Lib., Austin, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786863068
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 9/16/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 0.88 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

Meet the Author

David S. Ariel, Ph.D., is president of the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies. During his years as its president, the college has become one of North America's leading institutions of higher Jewish education and adult learning. He is a popular lecturer on Jewish beliefs, mysticism, and spirituality throughout the United Sates in a variety of venues, including universities, synagogues, churches, and community centers. He lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio, with his wife and three children.
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