Israel: A Spiritual Travel Guide: A Companion For The Modern Jewish Pilgrim

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9781580232616: Israel: A Spiritual Travel Guide: A Companion For The Modern Jewish Pilgrim
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Be spiritually prepared for your journey in Israel.

The only travel guide to Israel that will help you to prepare spiritually for your visit. Combining, in quick reference format, ancient blessings, medieval prayers, biblical references, and modern poetry, it helps today’s pilgrim tap into the deep spiritual meaning of the ancient―and modern―sites of the Holy Land. For each of 25 major tourist destinations―from the Western Wall to Masada to a kibbutz in the Galilee―it gives guidance in sharply focused, four-step sections:

  • Anticipation: To read in advance. Information to help orient you in the site’s historical context.
  • Approach: To read on the way there. Readings from traditional and modern sources to orient you in the site’s spiritual context.
  • Acknowledgment: To read at the site. A prayer or blessing to integrate the experience into your spiritual consciousness.
  • Afterthought: Journaling space for writing your own thoughts and impressions.

More than a guidebook: It is a spiritual map of the Holy Land.

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Review:

Israel: A Spiritual Travel Guide: A Companion for Modern Jewish Pilgrims by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman is slender enough to slip in your backpack and big enough to change your life. On his first visit to Israel, the American Rabbi Hoffman was disappointed that his reactions to the holy sites seemed to stop with "Wow." His subsequent trips have been more fulfilling, because he's developed a system of preparation and approach involving reading, prayer, and journaling that is summarized in Israel: A Spiritual Travel Guide. Look to Lonely Planet to help you find cheap eats and soft beds; and keep this guide handy for maps, time lines, and blessings (in both Hebrew and English) appropriate to most destinations that draw pilgrims--ranging from the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem to the mystical center Safed. Rabbi Hoffman's writing describes pilgrimages with an appealing blend of gravity and levity; his guide can help shape your memories of pilgrimage into your own distinctive "contribution to the memory of this people that has never suffered from amnesia." --Michael Joseph Gross

About the Author:

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD, has served for more than three decades as professor of liturgy at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. He is a world-renowned liturgist and holder of the Stephen and Barbara Friedman Chair in Liturgy, Worship and Ritual. His work combines research in Jewish ritual, worship and spirituality with a passion for the spiritual renewal of contemporary Judaism.

His many books, written and edited, include seven volumes in the Prayers of Awe series: Who by Fire, Who by Water―Un'taneh Tokef; All These Vows―Kol Nidre; We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism―Ashamnu and Al Chet; May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism―Yizkor; All the World: Universalism, Particularism and the High Holy Days; Naming God: Avinu MalkeinuOur Father, Our King; and Encountering God: El Rachum V'chanun―God Merciful and Gracious. Hoffman also edited the ten-volume series My People’s Prayer Book: Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries, winner of the National Jewish Book Award; and coedited My People’s Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award (all Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Hoffman cofounded and developed Synagogue 2/3000, a transdenominational project to envision and implement the ideal synagogue of the spirit for the twenty-first century. In that capacity, he wrote Rethinking Synagogues: A New Vocabulary for Congregational Life (Jewish Lights).

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