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The Seventh Telling is a journey into the Kabbalah, a spiritual discipline hidden within the folds of Jewish history. Stephanie and Sidney have been studying with Moshe Katan, a kabbalist who shared his learning only when he perceived that a kabbalistic intervention might be necessary to save the life of Rivkah, his wife. What has happened to Moshe and Rivkah we do not know, only that their house is now being used for an extraordinary storytelling, a spiritual discipline to share with those willing to risk ...
The Seventh Telling is a journey into the Kabbalah, a spiritual discipline hidden within the folds of Jewish history. Stephanie and Sidney have been studying with Moshe Katan, a kabbalist who shared his learning only when he perceived that a kabbalistic intervention might be necessary to save the life of Rivkah, his wife. What has happened to Moshe and Rivkah we do not know, only that their house is now being used for an extraordinary storytelling, a spiritual discipline to share with those willing to risk examining the very core of their beliefs.
"You are dead to me, Stephanie's father told her when she married Sidney thirty years before. There had been no contact in all that time, until her mother died, and then only a terse note."
So begins a journey into the Kabbalah, the spiritual discipline hidden until recently within the folds of Jewish history. While her husband tells the stories of the framework of the Kabbalah, Stephanie discovers and reveals secrets buried since biblical times. She takes enormous risks to tie the fabric of her life together when it seems certain it will tear apart.
The Seventh Telling may be read for its narrative and romantic value alone, but if the reader so desires, this brief guide will assist him or her in unraveling some of the novel's secrets.
1. In Chapter 8 you find a table formulating the Four Worlds, some didactic teaching concerning them, and the story of The Curse of Blessings. Review the teaching concerning the Four Worlds, then, in pairs, read the story of The Curse of Blessings. Find the Four Worlds within the story.
2. InChapters 9 and 10 you find two recitations of The Partner story, one told as it might have been in a Hasidic community in Europe, the other in an American framework. The story speaks of an evolving relationship with God. From the World of Action we see God as Ruler. From the World of Formation, Parent. From the World of Creation, Partner. Consider how the story might apply to your life situation or that of your family or community.
3. The sages of Jewish tradition take care to consider the repetitive acts of nature as miracles, more so than the apparent anomalies. The sun standing still, water flowing upstream . . . such occurrences, they say, were written into nature just before God finished creation on the sixth day. The miracle is that we exist at all. In pairs retell the Elijah story found in Chapter 10.
4. In Chapter 10, the story of the little girl who wanted to say the Sh'ma is a meditation. One person in the group might tell it as a guided meditation, but note: tell it, don't read it. The person who guides a meditation has a responsibility to experience it as s/he guides it. Others will follow the experience of the leader. If you read it, it is just a story. Yes, a story can be miraculous, but a meditation can be deeper.
5. Each of the sixteen chapters is introduced by a graphic. The sixteen graphics form a pattern. The pattern is a meditation. In pairs, analyze the sixteen squares. Note that they turn both clockwise and counter-clockwise simultaneously.
6. The Seventh Telling is consciously written to yield in each of the worlds. In the World of Action, it is a narrative. In the World of Formation, a romance. In the World of Creation, an allegory.
7. The framework of the Kabbalah expressed in The Seventh Telling is presented differently than it might be in an academic course. The term Kabbalah in academe generally applies to Jewish spiritual discipline from the time of the Zohar (13th century) on. The Seventh Telling refers to all of Jewish spiritual discipline as the Kabbalah, and divides it into two categories, Ma-aseh Beraysheet (the Work of Creation - speculation concerning the nature of existence) and Ma-aseh Merkavah (the Work of the Chariot - inner work concerning one's place in existence. This is an attempt to show the progression of Jewish spiritual discipline from the earliest times to the present day. It becomes clear that the voice of women has been missing from this progression, that the framework of the Kabbalah was developed by men for men. Now that women are taking an active role, can you make any predictions about the future direction and development of the Kabbalah?
Posted April 17, 2001
Wow! What an incredible book! It's been so long since I've read a book that keeps me up late at night, that I think about during the day, and even dream about. I loved this book. Nothing prepared me for the impact of this book when it arrived on my doorstep as an unexpected gift. The power and passion of Chefitz's teachings have reached me in the Heart of Texas, and they will reach you, too, wherever you are. As the layers of stories within the book unfold, their teachings will open your eyes, reach deeply into your heart, and touch your soul.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 13, 2001
Imagine you are in a deep meditation along with your spouse and then you lose her/him. That is Moshe Katan's experience in 'The Seventh Telling: The Kabbalah of Moshe Katan'. There are many breathtaking moments in this spiritual journey that author, Mitchell Chefitz, takes you on. Anyone with a spirtual soul who enjoys reading will be captivated by this novel approach to a spiritual discipline.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 25, 2001
I live in Jerusalem and study Chassidut(Chasidism). This book will delight serious spiritual seekers, and will also be very enjoyable and helpful for those with little knowledge. I enjoyed this book very much. The characters are captivating, the emotions are palpable, and the ideas are clearly presented, skillfully woven throughout the interesting stories. The information and insights are profound, crisp and down to earth. Reb Moshe Katan¿s presence is commanding, grounded and genuine. He has much to teach us.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.