Seeking and Soaring: Jewish Approaches to Spiritual Direction

Reclaiming Judaism Press

Rabbi Goldie Milgram [Ed]
Seeking and Soaring: Jewish Approaches to Spiritual Direction provides a fascinating opportunity to individually meet and appreciate many of the leading Jewish spiritual directors, teachers and scholars of our time. BUY NOW

Advances in the field of Hashpa'ah, Jewish spiritual direction, are carefully presented with special attention to session structure, boundaries, supervision, grieving, fear, impulse, addictions, middot and mussar - cultivation of personal ethical qualities, and serving as a doula to the dying. Teachings also present traditional and contemporary Jewish practices regarding intercession, angels, guides, and sacred stories. Unique populations addressed include Holocaust survivors, B'nai Mitzvah students, couples, and those seeking to renew their Jewish spiritual connection. User-friendly scholarly translations occur throughout, as well as guides to working with rare pieces of Jewish spiritual literature.

All profits go to benefit scholarships for students in the Hashpa'ah Program. Consider buying not only a copy for yourself, but also giving copies as Hanukkah and life cycle event presents, and also giving copies to your local clergy to help them consider the value of Jewish spiritual direction for themselves and those they serve.

Edited by Rabbi Goldie Milgram, Introduction by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi with chapters by 30 leading teachers and scholars including:
Howard Avruhm Addison, Barbara Eve Breitman, Anne Brener, Mitchell Chefitz, Sandra Cohen, Wayne Dosick, Ellen Kaufman Dosick, Shulamit Fagan, Estelle Frankel, Elliot Ginsburg, Shefa Gold, Nadya Gross, Chaya Gusfield, Burt Jacobson, Raachel Jurovics, Ruth Gan Kagan, David Daniel Klipper, Goldie Milgram, Marcia Prager, Joyce Reinitz, Melinda Ribner, Carola de Vries Robles, Carol Rose, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Rami Shapiro, Hanna Tiferet Siegel, Shohama Harris Wiener, David Zaslow & Shawn Israel Zevit.

Praise for Seeking & Soaring

"Seekers, therapists, teachers, spiritual directors and clergy will save the diversity of approaches and perspectives carefully laid out in Seeking and Soaring: Jewish Approaches to Spiritual Direction along with fascinating and useful vignettes, powerful exercises, relevant and readily retellable sacred stories. There are also accessible scholarly translations with guidance to important and applicable Jewish sacred texts, prayers and chants. Those yearning to heal tensions that can arise at the level of boards and within communities will find effective approaches to group spiritual direction here, too, as well as important examples of the deep ecumenism possible within and between faiths.
--Ellen Frankel, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Jewish Publication Society

"A must-read for all who seek or teach about a meaningful, ethical life connected to God through faith, practice and scripture. The book glows with Spirit and is infused with a wide variety of methods, topics and sacred texts. The occasional Hebrew words are carefully explained so that those who are not immersed in Judaism will be able to understand and read fluidly..."
--Dale T. Irwin, President, New York Theological Seminary


Table of Contents (Sample Chapters are hyperlinked)


Guidance for the Mashpia (spiritual director) by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi...1

Part I: How We Listen and Guide:Techniques of Hashpa’ah, Jewish Spiritual Direction

Chapter 1: Supervision as a Primary Professional Value by Mashpi’ah Ruchanit Sandra B. Cohen…24

Chapter 2: Entering the Unknown through the Silence of Dmama by Mashpi’ah Ruchanit Estelle Frankel…31

Chapter 3: Encompassing the Four Worlds in Jewish Spiritual Direction by Rabbinic Pastor David Daniel Klipper… 41

Chapter 4: If so, why me?! The Function of the Lament and Application of Focusing in Hashpa’ah by Rabbi Goldie Milgram and ALEPH Ordination Programs’ Students…46

Chapter 5: Can We Invite God in Again? Hashpa’ah After the Shoah (Holocaust) by Mashpi’ah Ruchanit Carola deVries Robles…69

Part II: Hashpa’ah in the Cycle of Life and Death

Chapter 6: Opening the Dialogue with God in B’nai Mitzvah Preparation by Rabbi Hanna Tiferet Siegel… 92

Chapter 7: The Mashpia as Midwife to the Dying by Rabbi Nadya Gross…113

Chapter 8: Configuring Grief in Spiritual Terms by Rabbi Anne Brener…126

Chapter 9: Opening to God in Gehinnom: Issues for the Mashpia in Being Fully Present to Suicide Survivors by Rabbi Chaya Gusfield...145       

Part III: Accessing Guides and Advocates

Chapter 10: Guidance from Other Dimensions of the God-Field: Ancestors, Angels and Guides by Rabbi Shohama Harris Wiener...154

Chapter 11: Co-Creating the Sacred Container by Mashpi’ah Ruchanit Ellen Kaufman Dosick…167

Chapter 12: Melitz Yosher: A Guide to Incorporating Intercession into Hashpa’ah, a class of Rabbi Ruth
Gan Kagan with guest teacher Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi…176

Part IV: Understanding and Cultivation of Middot—Ethical Qualities

Chapter 13: Transparencies of the Divine: Formation, Contemplation and Spiritual Guidance in the Teaching of Rabbi Shalom Noach Brazovsky by Rabbi Howard Avruhm Addison...198

Chapter 14: Leaping and Waiting: Reflections on a Slonimer Text: A Shpatzir in Four Movements by Rabbi Elliot Ginsburg…212

Chapter 15: 12 Steps Revisited through a Jewish Spiritual Lens by Rabbi Rami Shapiro…234

Chapter 16: Fear, Loss and the Power of Yielding by Rabbi Burt Jacobson…246

Chapter 17: Entitlement, Blessings, and Miracles by Rabbi Mitchell Chefitz…259

Part V: Guided Imagery and Meditation as Powerful Tools for Hashpa’ah

Chapter 18: Using Imagery in Hashpa’ah by Rabbi Joyce Reinitz...270

Chapter 19: Let Her Own Works Praise Her by Mashpi’ah Ruchanit Carol Rose… 282

Chapter 20: Kabbalistic Wisdom and Meditation as a Foundation for Jewish Spiritual Therapy and Direction by Mashpi’ah Ruchanit Melinda (Mindy) Ribner…294

Chapter 21: Chant in Hashpa’ah by Rabbi Shefa Gold...308                                                    

Part VI: Maggidut Story-telling within Hashpa’ah

Chapter 22: The Integration of Sacred Stories and Hashpa’ah by Rabbi Marcia Prager…318

Chapter 23: Sharing an Inspiring Story in Hashpa’ah by Rabbinic Pastor Shulamit Fagan…332

Part VII: Hashpa’ah in Synagogue and Communal Life

Chapter 24: Farginnin: A Mussar-inspired and Kabbalah-based Process for Synagogue Leadership and Membership Empowerment by Rabbi David Zaslow… 340

Chapter 25: Exploring the God-Field: A Systems Approach to Spiritual Direction—Hashpa’ah in Communal and Organizational Life by Rabbi Shawn Zevit…356

Part VIII: Hashpa’ah and Humanity

Chapter 26: Wired for Connection: Contemporary Neuroscience, the Mystery of Presence and Contemplative Jewish Spiritual Practice by Barbara Eve Breitman… 374

Chapter 27: Integrating Reb Zalman’s Deep Ecumenism into the Practice of Spiritual Direction by Raachel Nathan Jurovics...386

Chapter 28: Reducing Professional Isolation: The Rabbi and the Priest, Hashpa’ah with a Christian Colleague by Wayne Dosick...393


$29.95 410 pp. Quality Paperback