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God Is a Verb: Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism Paperback – September 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 333 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573226947
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573226943
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Rabbi Cooper opens wide the centuries-old treasure house of the Jewish tradition. This is a wise book...broad and accessible. It's one of those books that people will read a lot over the years"—Jack Kornfield, bestselling author of A Path with Heart



"David Cooper's rich wisdom and practical exercises bring Judaism alive in an exciting new way."—Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of A Woman's Book of Life



"Offers insight into the everyday practice of mystical Judaism...lively prose...a rewarding book."—Publishers Weekly



"A superb, sensitive, and gentle guide."—Ram Dass, author of Be Here Now

About the Author

Rabbi David A. Cooper studied mystical Judaism in Jerusalem's Old City for more than eight years, and has authored several books on meditation, spiritual retreats, and Jewish mystical practice. He also recorded the bestselling audiotape series The Mystical Kabbalah, and along with his wife, Shoshana, directs the Heart of Stillness Hermitage near Boulder, Colorado.


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Customer Reviews

Come climb the 'Tree of Life', the adventure awaits!
Brian E. Erland
I will never again see the world, or my place in it, the same way I did before I opened the book.
Derith
The chapters are very short, easy to read and understand.
Laura Weakley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Most works on Kabbalah are too cryptic, too obscure, very difficult to understand. Rabbi Cooper offers one of the most inspiring and clearest explanations of the Jewish mystical path that I have read. Anyone who has found greater depth of spiritual experience through exploring Eastern religions owes it to him/herself to read this incredibly beautiful explanation of the Oneness of God, the universe, the process of creation, and the meaning of life in general. Rabbi Cooper's explanation of "God-ing" just blew me away!
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By T. McIntire on May 7, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simply put, this book is a terrific introduction to the mystical side of Judaism. Although I've been a student of religion for some time now, I've only recently started to make the transition from reader to do-er, joining some friends at Temple and at a Passover Seder; I've been very much impressed at how alive the Jewish faith is, and God Is a Verb only reinforces that impression. The author does a tremendous job of explaining the basics of the religion, the basics of the mystical side of the religion, and the basics of actual Jewish meditative practice. Perhaps the best aspect of this book is all the wonderful Hasidic stores Rabbi Cooper uses to illustrate his points. I could not recommend this work more highly. It has given me the confidence to now try and crack some more esoteric and scholarly works on Kabbalah.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book may be read and appreciated by anyone interested in the subject. It is of particular use, though, and interest to Jewish people interested in the religion of their forbears who find that there is nothing at all spiritual in most modern Jewish practice. I found that this book really delivered on this front. Reb Cooper draws excellent analogies to mystical Eastern traditions with which he is very familiar as well as mystical Islam (sufism) and Christianity (also called Cabbalah). Along the same lines, "The Jew and the Lotus" also gives a good glimpse of more spiritual aspects of Judaism with which most modern Jews (like me) are, unfortunately, wholly unfamiliar. I so enjoyed this book that I bought an older series of tapes with meditations by Reb Cooper. The tapes were not half as enjoyable to me as this book (and much of the material was repetitive of the book). I recommend this book to anyone looking for more/some "spirituality" in Judaism. It will not disappoint. Reb Cooper's Hasidic tales are enjoyable for their own sake and add greatly to the book's great readability.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Brian E. Erland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
Rabbi David A. Cooper's, 'God Is A Verb' succeeds in being both a highly accessible primer for those uninitated into the kabbalistic mysteries while at the same time containing enough depth of material to attract the attention of the well-trained practitioner.

This 333 page paperback takes the reader on a wonderful mythic journey through 3,000 years of haggadic tales and imagery. The mystical understanding you will glean from these ancient myths and legends of the Jewish faith will become the essential building blocks to your mystical understanding of the cosmos. Come climb the 'Tree of Life', the adventure awaits!

A must read for the novice mystic and a valuable refresher course for the adept.

Highly Recommended!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a great overview for those beginning their mystic study of the Kabballah. However, for those looking for hardcore information on Kabballah, you may need to search for a different source. Reb Cooper's view of Kabballah is consistent with hermetic kabballah, which views the spiritual journey as the most significant aspect of Kabballah. However, others not in Reb Cooper's tradition, may choose to pursue Kabballah as a search for theological answers, and if this is your quest, try another book on Kabballah.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Brad A. Sommers on January 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
Rabbi Cooper's book is the finest intro book on Kabbalah I've read. This book is not for those interested in an indepth understanding of theoretical, speculative Kabbalah. However, most people get so bogged down in theory that 10 years and 20 books later they still have no real idea WHAT Kabbalism means or how to apply it. So if you want to actually learn how to APPLY Kabbalah in your daily life, and not just learn to spout strings of esoteric jargon, buy THIS book.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Neal J. Pollock VINE VOICE on November 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a very well written book on Kabbalah, including some stories, exercises, etc. for the aspiring student practitioner. It well-illustrates that Judaism had and still has a mystical core. He included a wondrous quote I've added to my collection, on page 217, "Inner silence means having the ability to perceive the feathers weight of the subtlest thoughts that can arise in the mind." I'd recommend a more basic book first (perhaps Halevi's "Introduction to Cabala" (sic), then this one, then onto Halevi's "Kabbalah and Exodus," Kaplan's three meditation books ("Meditation and the Bible," "Meditation and Kabbalah," and lastly, "Jewish Meditation" for more experiential work and Gershom Scholem's many works (especially, "Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism"). After these one might tackle Kaplan's commentaries on the Book Bahir and Sefer Yetzirah. Finally, (after absorbing all of the above) you might tackle the Simon & Sperling translation (2000 pages in 5 volumes) of the Zohar. Have fun.
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