Friday, October 28, 2011

The Strange Hunger for Non-Dual Judaism

I get hungry to read about non-dual Judaism.  Fact is, there are few modern full length treatments of it, and the classical sources only hint at the non-duality of all that we see and experience within the context of religious Judaism.  Mostly, non-dualism is a minority view in the Jewish world.

So, I gobble the works that are out there, and hope for more. [For example, I just read an essay by Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels about non-dual Judaism, and it is brilliant in how it handles the difficult task of explaining the unexplainable.  But I can’t find a full length book by Rabbi Jacobson-Maisels.]

Which brings me to Rabbi Arthur Green’s These Holy Words: A Vocabulary of Jewish Spiritual Life.  Rabbi Green was an early advocate of non-dual Judaism within the context of what is called neo-Hasidism.  This movement advocates for the integration of many Hasidic ideas and practices into modern Jewish life, without fully boarding the mitzvot-Hasidic bandwagon.

Rabbi Green “dictionary” of Jewish thought and practice covers a great deal of ground.  From Adonai to Zehhut and much in between.  There are suggestions of non-dualism here, especially in his treatment of the four letter name of God.  But mostly, this is a primer for liberal Jews without much background in the tradition looking for basic information from a very broadminded thinker. 

Such books as Radical Judaism, Ehyeh: A Kabbalah for Tomorrow and Seek My Face: A Jewish Mystical Theology are a more full frontal views of mystical, non-dualistic Judaism than this work

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