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.