A Book of Life: Embracing Judaism as a Spiritual Practice

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9781580232470: A Book of Life: Embracing Judaism as a Spiritual Practice
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A book that charts a clear path to a more spiritually rich practice of Judaismfrom the coauthor of the best-selling Jewish Catalog volumes.

For all the cycles of life, best-selling author Rabbi Michael Strassfeld presents traditional Jewish teachings as a guide to behavior and values. Where the tradition is replete with rituals (for example, the Sabbath), he describes them and shows how they can enrich spiritual living. Where rituals are sparse or nonexistent (for example, returning home at the end of the workday), he suggests new ones gleaned from his own study and experience.

Strassfeld also brings the principles of "insight meditation" to Jewish life, using this practice to recover and reconstruct Judaism's spiritual dimension. He describes a Judaism that encourages within us a spiritual awareness as we participate in both traditional Jewish practices and the mundane activities of daily life. By engaging with Jewish tradition in ways that recapture its original kavanah, or intention, we will, Strassfeld maintains, achieve the two fundamental goals of Judaism-to become better human beings and to be in God's presence. (Hardcover published in 2002 by Schocken Books, ISBN 0-8052-4124-8.)

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From the Back Cover:

"Strassfeld presents the whole of Jewish life as a practice-path of attentiveness to the moment-to-moment possibility of connecting with the sacred. His conversational tone and wit support the enormous amount of information and guidance in his book, keeping it always accessible, engaging, and inspiring."
--Sylvia Boorstein, author of Pay Attention, For Goodness' Sake

"Strassfeld offers his readers a thoughtful blend of richly traditional Judaism and contemporary spiritual quest. You will learn a lot from this warm and open-hearted portrayal."
--Rabbi Arthur Green, author of These Are the Words: A Vocabulary of Jewish Spiritual Life

"A Book of Life wonderfully illuminates traditional Jewish teachings to make a set of practices come alive for our contemporary world. Strassfeld doesn't shy away from the difficult questions, the ones that compel us to bring our deepest values to our real and present experiences in order to have an authentic spiritual life."
--Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

"Strassfeld presents the whole of Jewish life as a practice-path of attentiveness to the moment-to-moment possibility of connecting with the sacred. His conversational tone and wit support the enormous amount of information and guidance in his book, keeping it always accessible, engaging, and inspiring."
--Sylvia Boorstein, author of Pay Attention, For Goodness' Sake

"Rabbi Strassfeld has set a sumptuous table for students of Judaism in his Book of Life. Paying equal attention to ethics, spirituality, and ritual, Strassfeld gently guides readers through the practices of Judaism that lead to a mindful Jewish life. This book is perfect for congregations, for undergraduate courses, for conversion classes, and for searchers from every walk of life."
--Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, Appleman Chair of Midrash and Interreligious Studies, Jewish Theological Seminary

"Over the years, Michael Strassfeld has consistently captured the liberal spiritual imagination of American life, and now he has done it once again in this thoughtful and comprehensive introduction to Judaism for our time. The necessary facts and lexicon of Jewish life are masterfully woven into a creative web of traditional Jewish wisdom and altogether novel interpretation. He covers the usual topics like prayer and holiday observance, but also the unusual ones--like work, speech, and ecological consciousness--in fact, pretty much every area where modern men and women seek out spiritual meaning and ethical guidance."
--Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, author of The Way into Jewish Prayer

About the Author:

Rabbi Michael Strassfeld, coauthor of the three volumes of The Jewish Catalog and of A Night of Questions: A Passover Haggadah and author of The Jewish Holidays: A Guide and Commentary, is the rabbi of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, a synagogue in Manhattan.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781681629551: A Book of Life: Embracing Judaism as a Spiritual Practice

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ISBN 10:  1681629550 ISBN 13:  9781681629551
Publisher: Jewish Lights, 2006
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9780805241242: A Book of Life: Embracing Judaism as a Spiritual Practice

Schocken, 2002
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