Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Judaism with Feeling

Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi must write with collaborators, since he primary transmits his knowledge orally.  In texts where less control is brought to bear on his stream of consciousness, the results are confusing.   

This is not the case with Judaism with Feeling, where co-writer Joel Segel keeps Rabbi Zalman on the straight and narrow, producing a book which is an exemplar of Jewish Renewal philosophy and thought. 

The stuff here is standard, yet profound,  Neo-Hasidic fare.  Reformulating God panentheistically, or in this case, pantheistically, to meet more modern sensibilities.  Experiencing life in Jewish sacred time, a concept found in the writings of Heschel.  A reformulation of prayer and mitzvah.  There are also sections on eco-Kashrut, Jewish identity in an age of radical choice, and thoughts about the future in the form of a recast, non-traditionally conceived Messianic Age.

So dig in, this is as good as it gets.  If you don’t pull some Yiddishkeit out of his book, there is no hope for you.  You must find another religious Jewish paradigm.

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