cover image Israel-A Spiritual Travel Guide: A Companion for the Modern Jewish Pilgrim

Israel-A Spiritual Travel Guide: A Companion for the Modern Jewish Pilgrim

Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD, Author Jewish Lights Publishing $18.95 (208p) ISBN 978-1-879045-56-9

To celebrate Israel's 50th birthday, many Jews may find themselves boarding a plane to visit the country's holy sites. For modern Jews making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Hoffman (What Is a Jew?) provides a travel guide intended to prepare them for the spiritual as well as the physical dimension of their travels. In the book's first section, Hoffman offers 18 short meditations to be read before leaving on the journey. Topics included in this section range from meditations on a ""Jewish map of Jewish Space and Time"" to ""Jerusalem: The Center of the World."" Sections two and three focus, respectively, on ""what to say on the eve of leaving"" and ""how to prepare while on the way."" Section four, the centerpiece of the book, contains brief reflections on 25 specific destinations in Israel, ranging from the Western Wall to Masada and Bethlehem. Each of these chapters contains four sections--""Anticipation,"" a brief historical overview to read before arriving at the destination; ""Approach,"" excerpts from a variety of Jewish writings to teach the traveler about the locations' spiritual context; ""Acknowledgment,"" prayers or blessings; and ""Afterthought,"" a blank space for writing journal entries. Hoffman's book is such an invaluable resource for incorporating Jewish spirituality into Jewish history that both non-Jews and Jews will benefit from it. (July)