Soul Prints: Your Path to Fulfillment

Marc Gafni, Author Atria Books $24.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7434-1699-3
Just as fingerprints are unique, so, too, says Rabbi Gafni, are soul prints: each human soul has an individual mark that it leaves behind on everyone it touches. Gafni, dean of the Merlitz Public Culture Center in Israel, weaves together autobiographical reflections with tips and exercises designed to help readers discover their soul prints and find fulfillment. Gafni begins with the premise that everyone is lonely and many people look for cures in places where they will never find them, such as sexual encounters. Many of the exercises in this splendid book are designed to help readers confront, and then cure, that loneliness. Gafni suggests that readers share what they learn while reading this book with a lonely person they know. Readers are then asked to make a ""Soul Print box"" that contains the things that are most important to them, and then to show the contents of that box to one other person. Gafni advocates the practice of random acts of kindness: ""Bring happiness to one person each week, for no apparent reason."" His tremendous breadth distinguishes this volume from so many spiritualized self-help tomes. He draws on the fantasy novella Flatlands and the teachings of Talmudic rabbis, on psychologists and prophets. He tells his own stories and biblical stories. Though steeped in Jewish wisdom, this book will be accessible and helpful to readers of many faiths. Gafni occasionally states the obvious (as when he notes that if ""after a long day of living your life, you feel as if you are on the verge of tears,"" something might be amiss). But those few banalities can't ruin this insightful book. (Mar.) Forecast: This book is being published in conjunction with a major PBS special by the same title, scheduled to air in early March; this should have a significant impact on book sales. Gafni will be doing a 10-city author tour later that month.
Reviewed on: 02/01/2001
Release date: 02/01/2001
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-9920-7
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-0416-4
Paperback - 354 pages - 978-0-7434-1700-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7927-2493-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7435-0415-7
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