THE SECRET LIFE OF GOD: Discovering the Divine Within You

David Aaron, Author . Shambhala $21.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-59030-146-3

According to one ancient sage, "Kabbalah is not the path to paradise but the path to paradox." Yet Rabbi Aaron untangles enough of that paradox to leave us with a much clearer picture of paradise. He takes the existential and makes it tangible; his answers of "yes" to either/or questions somehow make sense, and at the end of the day, his love for and delight in the study of kabbalah is contagious. With a tone that is soft but firm, Aaron offers a particularly embracing sort of guidance. His approach, open and honest with a nice dose of humor, makes the mysteries of God less frightening. Contemporary analogies share time with family anecdotes and Talmudic lessons. He gently pushes the boundaries of what we think we know to be true and encourages us to broaden our perspective. Most striking is his ability to logically explain a theological abstraction. For example, "when the Kabbalah talks about why God created the world, it is not asking 'For what reason?' but rather, 'For what purpose?' " He illustrates his point by asking why Henry Ford invented the car—for what reason ? To please his mother? Impress a girlfriend? No one knows. Ask for what purpose and the answer is simple: transportation. Aaron notes that "When we talk about God, we are not simply saying we don't know the reason why God created the world, but rather that there really is no reason. There's a purpose for which God created the world, but not a reason. Although the world is purposeful, it's still unreasonable." Though at times a bit repetitive in a sermonic kind of way, anyone seeking answers about the nature of God—those familiar with Aaron's writings and teachings and those new to the study of kabbalah and even Judaism—will feel equally comfortable within these pages. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/12/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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