Shabbat as Spiritual Transformation in Jewish Mysticism
We will explore some of the inspiring ways in which the experience of Shabbat has been understood by the mystical masters. How can Shabbat become a time of introspection and inner quiet? How can we discover the Presence of God in our innermost selves, and open the Sanctuary of the heart?
Understanding the History and the Artistic Beauty of the Masterpiece of Kabbalah
The Zohar is, without question, the single most important work in the history of Jewish mysticism, and is arguably one of the most extraordinary texts in the entire history of Judaism. Authored in late 13th century Spain and attributed to a rabbi of second century Palestine, the Zohar is a work of majestic beauty and seemingly boundless spiritual insight. Come join us in an exploration through the mysterious pathways of this revered and highly influential work of Kabbalah.
What is Jewish Mysticism?—Understanding the Kabbalah
Mysticism has been central to Judaism throughout the history of the Jewish people, and it has become something of a popular fascination in our own day. But what is it all about? What are some of the major characteristics of the phenomenon known as ‘Kabbalah’? How can contemporary Jews draw on the treasures of this tradition in their own spiritual lives?
Entering the Word, Opening the Heart: Understanding the Mystical Experience of Prayer
How can we attain spiritual concentration and centeredness in our prayer when it is so hard to focus? What might help us draw closer to God in prayer, despite all the distractions of our daily lives? In this session we will draw inspiration from kabbalistic and hasidic teachings on the practice of prayer and the love of God.
The Layers of Torah: A Path to God in Jewish Mysticism
The mystics teach us that the Torah is filled with deep mysteries about the inner life of God, and that we must always strive to interpret the text beyond its surface level of meaning. It is through that search for deeper meaning that we may see the Torah as a doorway to the presence of God in the world.
Opening the Inner Eye: Mystical Texts on the Transformation of Spiritual Awareness
How might the spiritual seeker cultivate greater awareness of the divine presence, and how have mystical masters guided their disciples in this holy quest? How is the devotee able to transcend the limitations of “ordinary consciousness” and gain entry into the flowing River of Divine Light? We will explore a series of texts from Kabbalah and Hasidism that offer reflection on these matters.
Other topics available upon request.