Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Reclaiming the Self: The Pathway of Tesuvah

Rav DovBer Pinson writes a very humane, if not repetitive book on one of the central elements of religious Judaism, teshuvah, or “return” to HaShem.

In his Reclaiming the Self: The Pathway of Teshuvah, the rabbi often veers into straight up self-help, New Age territory.  For some pages there is nary a world about Judaism, mitzvoth, or teshuvah classically defined.

But that is part of his project.  As a fully observant, Chabad rabbi, DovBer Pinson is writing for an audience of secular Jews looking to embrace Judaism through one of its tradition paths; and the rabbi tries to present this path in a very modern, non-judgmental, and even, at times, in a non-religious ways.

The result is an interesting mix of theories and stories which sometimes cohere, and often do not.  The rabbi writes a long book about a simple topic (simple to discuss, hard to practice) and the result is the strong urge on the part of this reader to skim material that sounds and feels vaguely familiar.

No comments:

Post a Comment