A Passion for Truth


Abraham Joshua Heschel - 1973
    In this work Heschel explores despair and hope in Hasidism as he experienced it himself through study of the Baal Shem Tov and the Kotzker.

Jewish With Feeling: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice


Zalman Schachter-Shalomi - 2004
    With teachings and stories from many traditions, as well as numerous practical suggestions, Jewish with Feeling is Reb Zalman's uniquely warm and welcoming approach to awakening the soul.

Radical Judaism: Rethinking God and Tradition


Arthur Green - 2010
    As featured on the cover of Tikkun magazine How do we articulate a religious vision that embraces evolution and human authorship of Scripture?  Drawing on the Jewish mystical traditions of Kabbalah and Hasidism, path-breaking Jewish scholar Arthur Green argues that a neomystical perspective can help us to reframe these realities, so they may yet be viewed as dwelling places of the sacred.  In doing so, he rethinks such concepts as God, the origins and meaning of existence, human nature, and revelation to construct a new Judaism for the twenty-first century.

Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life


Irwin Kula - 2006
    After twenty-three years as a rabbi, I can think of no more defining human experience." Life can be messy and imperfect. We're all looking for answers. And yet, as renowned rabbi Irwin Kula points out, the yearning for answers is no different now than it was in the times that gave rise to Moses, Buddha, and Jesus. Far from being a burden, however, these yearnings can themselves become a path to blessing, prompting questions and insights, resulting in new ways of being and believing. In this, his first book, Rabbi Kula takes us on an excursion into the depths of our desires, applying ancient Jewish tradition to seven of our most wonderful yearnings. Merging ancient wisdom with contemporary insights, Rabbi Kula shows how traditional practices can inform and enrich our own search for meaning. More importantly, he invites us to embrace the messiness and complexities of the human experience in order to fully embrace the endless and glorious project of life.

Permission To Believe: Four Rational Approaches to God's Existence


Lawrence Kelemen - 1990
    Four Approaches to God's Existence

Commentary on the Torah


Richard Elliott Friedman - 2001
    Richard Elliott Friedman, the bestselling author of Who Wrote the Bible?, integrates the most recent discoveries in biblical archaeology and research with the fruits of years of experience studying and teaching the Bible to illuminate the straightforward meaning of the text -- "to shed new light on the Torah and, more important, to open windows through which it sheds its light on us."While other commentaries are generally collections of comments by a number of scholars, this is a unified commentary on the Torah by a single scholar, the most unified by a Jewish scholar in centuries. It includes the original Hebrew text, a new translation, and an authoritative, accessibly written interpretation and analysis of each passage that remains focused on the meaning of the Torah as a whole, showing how its separate books are united into one cohesive, all-encompassing sacred literary masterpiece. This landmark work is destined to take its place as a classic in the libraries of lay readers and scholars alike, as we seek to understand the significance of the scriptural texts for our lives today, and for years to come.

The Slavery of Death


Richard Beck - 2013
    Driven by anxiety—enslaved to the fear of death—we are revealed to be morally and spiritually vulnerable as "the sting of death is sin." Beck argues that in the face of this predicament, resurrection is experienced as liberation from the slavery of death in the martyrological, eccentric, cruciform, and communal capacity to overcome fear in living fully and sacrificially for others."Richard Beck's new book seamlessly integrates deep theological reflection with sound psychological insight while never compromising either discipline. Liberating ideas about fear, sin, and death from the mire of abstraction, The Slavery of Death invites believers to discover and embrace true freedom together at the far side of the cross, a freedom reflected in and essential to the very nature of God. This book is a gift to the church." —Jamie Arpin-Ricci, author, "The Cost of Community""With Eastern Orthodox tradition and the work of modern theologians like McGill, Stringfellow, and Kelsey in one hand, and social science texts in the other, Richard Beck analyzes our culture of death in this compelling book. What can liberate us from this demonic power that is feared and fetishized, institutionalized and internalized, and reconfigure our self-enclosed identities? The kenotic love of the risen Christ! With the colloquial skills of a gifted teacher, Beck has written a prophetic, practical—and urgent—manifesto."—Kim Fabricius, minister, the United Reformed Church (UK)"It's an age-old Faustian tale. We conspire with demonic principalities and powers to cheat death and save ourselves. Such idols, Richard Beck warns, inexorably enslave and damn us. He follows this indictment, however, with a prophetic analysis that is nothing short of an emancipation proclamation. Christ's resurrection not only burst the gates of hell and destroyed death's sting, but also freed us from the enslaving addiction of self-empowerment—resurrecting us for self-expenditure and sacrificial love."—Richard Goode, co-editor, "And the Criminals With Him""Beck is like the 'rabbi trained for the kingdom of heaven' that Jesus talked about: a master pulling out things old and new, weaving together ancient theology and contemporary psychology in a way altogether provocative and compelling, rightfully re-orienting us with regard to some of our most basic convictions. Good, good, good work." —Lee C. Camp, author, "Mere Discipleship"

Belief, Doubt, and Fanaticism: Is It Essential to Have Something to Believe In?


Osho - 2012
    He has been described by the Sunday Times of London as one of the "1000 Makers of the 20th Century" and by Sunday Mid-Day (India) as one of the ten people--along with Gandhi, Nehru, and Buddha--who have changed the destiny of India. Since his death in 1990, the influence of his teachings continues to expand, reaching seekers of all ages in virtually every country of the world.

Jewish Spirituality: A Brief Introduction for Christians


Lawrence Kushner - 2001
    It is a tradition that may at times, for Christians, feel strangely familiar and will, for Christians and Jews, always challenge you to see yourself and your world through a new lens."--from the IntroductionJewish spirituality is an approach to life that encourages us to become aware of God's presence and purpose, even in unlikely places. "This world and everything in it is a manifestation of God's presence," says Rabbi Lawrence Kushner. "Our challenge and goal is to find it and then act in such a way as to help others find it too."In this special book, Kushner guides Christians through the rich wisdom of Jewish spirituality. He tailors his unique style to address Christians' questions, and, in doing so, opens new windows on their own faith.Jewish Spirituality is a window into the Jewish soul that people of all faiths can understand and enjoy. From the Talmud and Torah, to "repentence" (teshuva) and "repairing the world" (tikkun olam), Kushner shows all of us how we can use the fundamentals of Jewish spirituality to enrich our own lives.

The December Project: An Extraordinary Rabbi and a Skeptical Seeker Confront Life's Greatest Mystery


Sara Davidson - 2014
    "When you can feel in your cells that you're coming to the end of your tour of duty," he said, "what is the spiritual work of this time, and how do we prepare for the mystery?"Davidson, who has a seeker's heart and a skeptic's mind, jumped at the chance to spend time with him. She'd long feared that death would be a complete annihilation, while Reb Zalman felt certain that "something continues." He said he didn't want to convince her of anything. "What I want is to loosen your mind." Through their talks, he wanted to help people "not freak out about dying," and enable them to have a more heightened and grateful life.For two years, they met every week, and this is Davidson's memoir of what they learned and how they changed. Interspersed with their talks are sketches from Reb Zalman's extraordinary life. He barely escaped the Nazis, became an Orthodox rabbi in the US, was married four times and had eleven children, one from a sperm donation to a lesbian rabbi, and formed friendships with leaders of other faiths, such as Thomas Merton and the Dalai Lama. Breaking with the Orthodox, he founded the Jewish Renewal Movement to encourage people to have a direct experience of God.During their time together, Davidson was nearly killed by a suicide bomb, and Reb Zalman struggled with a steep decline in health. Together they created strategies to deal with pain and memory loss, and found tools to cultivate simplicity, fearlessness, and joy—at any age. Davidson includes twelve exercises so that readers may experience what she did—a sea change in facing what we all must face: mortality.

The Lonely Man of Faith


Joseph B. Soloveitchik - 1992
    Soloveitchik, the rabbi known as “The Rav” by his followers worldwide, was a leading authority on the meaning of Jewish law and prominent force in building bridges between traditional Orthodox Judaism and the modern world. In The Lonely Man of Faith, a soaring, eloquent essay first published in Tradition magazine in 1965, Soloveitchik investigates the essential loneliness of the person of faith in our narcissistic, materially oriented, utilitarian society.In this modern classic, Soloveitchik uses the story of Adam and Eve as a springboard, interweaving insights from such important Western philosophers as Kierkegaard and Kant with innovative readings of Genesis to provide guidance for the faithful in today’s world. He explains prayer as “the harbinger of moral reformation,” and discusses with empathy and understanding the despair and exasperation of individuals who seek personal redemption through direct knowledge of a God who seems remote and unapproachable. He shows that while the faithful may become members of a religious community, their true home is “the abode of loneliness.” In a moving personal testimony, Soloveitchik demonstrates a deep-seated commitment, intellectual courage, and integrity to which people of all religions will respond.

The Secret: Unlocking the Source of Joy and Fulfillment


Michael Berg - 2002
    Not long thereafter, he received a priceless spiritual teaching that revealed the source of lasting joy and fulfillment from a spiritual master whose name he would never disclose, not even after he himself became the most renowned Kabbalist of the 20th century. The young scholar's name was Rav Yehuda Ashlag, and though his letters and writings offer tantalizing hints of the wisdom that was given to him, the pieces of the puzzle have never been fully assembled until now. Here Michael Berg, himself the descendant of great Kabbalists, shares the result of years spent studying Rav Ashlag's life and work. In this book, Berg shows how the secret offers life-changing power. Drawing on stories and insights from Ashlag and other noted mystics, Berg explains how to discover one’s true purpose in the world and thereby find lasting peace and joy.

What Do We Do with the Bible?


Richard Rohr - 2018
    . . the list goes on. Still, we believe the Bible has something important to say. How can we read it in a contemplative and intelligent way?

Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism: Secrets of "The Guide for the Perplexed"


Micah Goodman - 2010
    The works of Maimonides, particularly The Guide for the Perplexed, are reckoned among the fundamental texts that influenced all subsequent Jewish philosophy and also proved to be highly influential in Christian and Islamic thought. Spanning subjects ranging from God, prophecy, miracles, revelation, and evil, to politics, messianism, reason in religion, and the therapeutic role of doubt, Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism elucidates the complex ideas of The Guide in remarkably clear and engaging prose. Drawing on his own experience as a central figure in the current Israeli renaissance of Jewish culture and spirituality, Micah Goodman brings Maimonides’s masterwork into dialogue with the intellectual and spiritual worlds of twenty-first-century readers. Goodman contends that in Maimonides’s view, the Torah’s purpose is not to bring clarity about God but rather to make us realize that we do not understand God at all; not to resolve inscrutable religious issues but to give us insight into the true nature and purpose of our lives.

Why Be Jewish?: A Testament


Edgar M. Bronfman - 2016
    Bronfman's clarion call to a generation of secular, disaffected, and unaffiliated Jews, this book addresses the most critical question confronting Judaism worldwide. Completed in December 2013, just weeks before he passed away, Why Be Jewish? expresses Edgar Bronfman's awe, respect, and deep love for his faith and heritage. Bronfman walks readers through the major tenets and ideas in Jewish life, fleshing out their meaning and offering proof texts from the Jewish tradition gleaned over his many years of study with some of the greatest teachers in the Jewish world. With honesty, poignancy, and passion, Bronfman shares in Why Be Jewish? insights gleaned from his own personal journey and makes a compelling case for the meaning and transcendence of a secular Judaism that is still steeped in deep moral values, authentic Jewish texts, and a focus on deed over creed or dogma.