The Jewish Lights Spirituality Handbook: A Guide to Understanding, Exploring & Living a Spiritual Life

The Jewish Lights Spirituality Handbook: A Guide to Understanding, Exploring & Living a Spiritual Life

by Stuart M. Matlins
     
 

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What is "Jewish Spirituality"? How do I make it part of my life? Today's foremost spiritual leaders share their ideas and experience.

Whether you are just curious, intently searching for greater personal meaning, or actively seeking ideas, information, practices and inspiration to enrich your spiritual life, The Jewish Lights Spirituality Handbook

Overview

What is "Jewish Spirituality"? How do I make it part of my life? Today's foremost spiritual leaders share their ideas and experience.

Whether you are just curious, intently searching for greater personal meaning, or actively seeking ideas, information, practices and inspiration to enrich your spiritual life, The Jewish Lights Spirituality Handbook is the ideal companion for your journey as it explores:

  • Awakening the Possibilities: What Is Jewish Spirituality?
  • The Worlds of Your Life: Where Is Spirituality Found?
  • The Times and Seasons of Your Life: When Does Spirituality Enter?
  • Swords and Plowshares: How to Forge the Tools that Will Make It Happen
  • So What Do You Do With It? Why Spirituality Should Be Part of Your Life

Fifty of our foremost spiritual leaders invite you to explore every aspect of Jewish spirituality—God, community, prayer, liturgy, healing, meditation, mysticism, study, Jewish traditions, rituals, blessings, life passages, special days, the everyday, repairing the world and more—offering, in one place, everything you need to discover all the directions that Jewish spirituality can go and can take you.

Contributors:

Isa Aron • Miriam Carey Berkowitz • Ellen Bernstein • Sylvia Boorstein • Eugene B. Borowitz • Anne Brener • Norman J. Cohen • David A. Cooper • Avram Davis • Wayne Dosick • Edward Feld • Nancy Flam • Tamar Frankiel • Nan Fink Gefen • Neil Gillman • Elyse Goldstein • Arthur Green • Judy Greenfeld • David Hartman • Mark Hass • Lee Myerhoff Hendler • Lawrence A. Hoffman • Karyn D. Kedar • Lawrence Kushner • Jane Rachel Litman • Daniel C. Matt • Levi Meier • James L. Mirel • Rebbe Nachman of Breslov • Kerry M. Olitzky • Jonathan Omer-Man • Debra Orenstein • Daniel F. Polish • Jack Riemer • Debra Judith Robbins • Jeffrey K. Salkin • Sandy Eisenberg Sasso • Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi • Dannel I. Schwartz • Sharon L. Sobel • Rifat Sonsino • Elie Kaplan Spitz • Nathaniel Stampfer • Ira F. Stone • Leora Tanenbaum • Arthur Waskow • Karen Bonnell Werth • Ron Wolfson • David Zeller • Sheldon Zimmerman

The royalties from The Jewish Lights Spirituality Handbook are donated by the contributors and publisher to America’s Jewish seminaries.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Just a decade ago, says Matlins in his introduction, few people were talking about Jewish spirituality. But in recent years there has been increased interest in "this spirituality thing." Almost every star of that revival has contributed at least one essay to this rich but uneven anthology. Arthur Green and Lawrence Kushner offer moving reflections on Shabbat. In a meditation on psychotherapy, Ira F. Stone speaks of the importance of loving other people. For the more practically minded, there's Jack Riemer and Nathaniel Stampfer's essay on "Writing an Ethical Will." Still, the collection is far from flawless. Some of the contributions seem out of place: a two-pager by Tamar Frankiel argues that non-Jews can learn from Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), but it is hard to imagine that many non-Jews are going to spend enough time with this handbook on Jewish spirituality to be persuaded by her short piece. And some of the contributions are a tad shallow. Dannel Schwarz and Mark Hass's "Be Mystical. Be Happy" is no more profound than a Bobby McFerrin song, and David Cooper's reflections on meditation are similarly superficial. (With skimpy evidence and a debatable interpretation of the famous midrash about the four rabbis who enter pardes Rabbi Cooper concludes that "talmudic scholars had extraordinary respect for contemplative practice.") Overall, this volume presents Jewish spirituality chavurah -style; devotees of Kushner et al. will treasure this anthology, although a few of the essays don't quite measure up. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Matlins (cofounder and editor in chief of Jewish Lights) compiled this book to provide people with a resource for learning about spirituality with a specifically Jewish focus. Organized into four sections, the essays reflect the different aspects of spirituality and highlight the range and breadth of issues connected with it. The contributors, who include well-known scholars such as Lawrence Kushner, Neil Gillman, and David Hartman, reflect on biblical themes and their own experiences and then explain how to proceed. Broad interest in spirituality and the return of many readers to their Jewish roots creates a place for this book. Recommended for public libraries with collections in contemporary Jewish thought and where there is interest in Jewish spirituality. Naomi Hafter, Broward Cty. P.L., Ft. Lauderdale, FL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580230933
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
07/01/2001
Pages:
454
Sales rank:
1,307,623
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Stuart M. Matlins is founder, editor-in-chief and publisher of Jewish Lights Publishing and SkyLight Paths Publishing. Both imprints focus on religion and spirituality from a broad non-denominational perspective. He is author or editor of several books, including the best-selling How to Be a Perfect Stranger: The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook (SkyLight Paths); The Jewish Lights Spirituality Handbook: A Guide to Understanding, Exploring & Living a Spiritual Life (Jewish Lights); The Perfect Stranger's Guide to Wedding Ceremonies: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People’s Religious Ceremonies; and The Perfect Stranger’s Guide to Funerals and Grieving Practices: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People’s Religious Ceremonies (both SkyLight Paths).

Stuart was the 2014 recipient of the Abraham Geiger Medal, an award recognizing outstanding service to religious pluralism, and the 2006 recipient of the American Jewish Distinguished Service Award, an annual presentation of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. He was a member of the First Catholic/Jewish Lay Conference at the Vatican in October 2007, an event under the auspices of the Interreligious Information Center.

Among his many speaking appearances, Stuart has been the scholar-in-residence or guest lecturer at the National Funeral Director’s Association convention, Temple Isaiah (Palm Springs, CA), The Jewish Center of the Hamptons (East Hampton, NY), Temple Sholom (Plainfield, NJ), Israel Congregation (Manchester, NH) and at the annual gatherings of the Jewish Community Centers Association and the Jewish Outreach Institute. He also has been a featured speaker or panel member at many Book Expo America conventions, and at the biennial Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College, as well as at churches and other conferences.

Before publishing took over his life, he was a management consultant for over thirty years as a managing partner with Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. and then heading his own consulting firm.

He is the cofounder of an innovative synagogue in Woodstock, Vermont, with his wife, Antoinette Matlins, and served as lay spiritual leader for nineteen of its twenty-one years. He has served for over twenty years on the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, and was chair of the Board of Overseers of its New York School. He is widely recognized as a leader in the spiritual transformation of Judaism in our time.

Stuart is listed in Who’s Who in America.

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