God is a Verb: Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism

David Cooper, Author
David Cooper, Author Riverhead Books $24.95 (333p) ISBN 978-1-57322-055-2
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Rabbi Cooper, who directs the Heart of Stillness Hermitage in Boulder, Colo., offers insight into the everyday practice of mystical Judaism. Using tales of the Hasidic masters as well as stories from the Torah, Talmud and Mishnah, Cooper delves into the mysteries of life and death. One of the great quests of modern religious people, says Cooper, is to find greater wisdom and higher spiritual awareness. Through these stories, he aims to show that seekers must actively pursue wisdom and awareness through meditation and study rather than await such wisdom to be revealed to them. What is the soul? What is the purpose of creation? What is holiness? These, he argues, are the questions that must form the foundation of the search. At the heart of Kabbalah, says Cooper, is the revelation of the unity of all things, a unity he cleverly illustrates by comparing DNA (science's ""tree of life"") to the tree of life from the Kabbalah. Exercises for meditation accompany each of these reflections. Cooper's lively prose and his syncretist attitude toward religion make this a rewarding book. (Aug.)
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