Climbing Jacob's Ladder: One Man's Rediscovery of a Jewish Spiritual Tradition

Alan Morinis, Author, E. Alan Morinis, Author
Alan Morinis, Author, E. Alan Morinis, Author Broadway Books $23.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7679-0645-6
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-7679-1120-7
Paperback - 225 pages - 978-1-59030-366-5
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This moving account of a secular Jew's search for spirituality begins with his explorations of Eastern religions in India and ends with his quest's eventual culmination in Jewish tradition. Born and raised in Toronto, Morinis won a Rhodes Scholarship and earned a Ph.D. in anthropology at Oxford. After teaching at different universities in Vancouver, he became involved in filmmaking and abandoned academia. He was successful for many years but his business finally failed. During his resulting depression, he turned to Judaism for solace since his investigation of Eastern religions had proven fruitless. He learned about Musar (ethics, morality), a little-known Jewish movement that emphasizes the study of Judaism's ethical writings and their practical application. The need for a teacher to guide him beyond his reading led him to a rabbi in Far Rockaway, N.Y. For the next three years, Morinis traveled frequently between Vancouver and New York. What he learned is incorporated in this well-written book which sets forth the teachings of Musar, often through parables told to Morinis by his teacher. These homilies make a profound connection between belief and behavior. The narrative also reveals the story of the author's life, including the impact of his studies on his relationship with his physician wife and their two daughters. The achievement of personal growth through spirituality is richly demonstrated by this touching account of the author's journey to Judaism. (Mar. 12)
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