Jewish mystical writings from ancient times to the present are collected here under such headings as Nature, Creation, Daily Life, Good and Evil, Female Divinity, Meditation, and Ecstasy. The words of these spiritual masters—from sources such as the Zohar, the Baal Shem Tov, Martin Buber, Rabbi Nachman, of Bratzlav, Abraham Abulafia, and Aryeh Kaplan—offer a lively introduction to their joyful world.
Besserman, who traces her lineage to Hasidism's founder, the Baal Shem Tov, gathers Jewish mystical writings from ancient times to the present. She describes mystics as wanderers traveling from town to town along the dusty roads from Safed to Jerusalem or along the winding valleys of the Carpathian mountains, embodying their wisdom and teaching by the way they live. Besserman's collection of stories, teachings and sayings focuses on such topics as nature, creation, daily life, good and evil, female divinity, meditation and ecstasy. For example, one meditation from Nachman of Bratzlav instructs that even if you can't speak at all, you should simply repeat a single word; if you can say nothing else, remain firm, and repeat this word over and over. God will eventually have mercy on you and will open your heart so that you will be able to express all your thoughts. The Baal Shem Tov once observed that when a commandment is observed with joy, there is reward without limit. Besserman's collection of short, thought-provoking tidbits of wisdom points to a universal practice of the heart. (June)
|Vision and Prophecy||14|
|Good and Evil||89|