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God in the Wilderness: Rediscovering the Spirituality of the Great Outdoors with the Adventure Rabbi Paperback – April 8, 2008


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God in the Wilderness: Rediscovering the Spirituality of the Great Outdoors with the Adventure Rabbi + The God Upgrade: Finding Your 21st-Century Spirituality in Judaism's 5,000-Year-Old Tradition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (April 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385520492
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385520492
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #545,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Rabbi Korngold revels in nature, and she seeks to share that joy as founder of the Adventure Rabbi program to help people reconnect to Judaism via the great outdoors. She has also discovered a way—call it a language, a spirit, an essence—with which to express the simplicity of a back-to-basics spirituality. Balancing an in-depth knowledge of scripture with a wry sense of humor and a compassion for nature, Korngold reminds us of the nooks and crannies of the natural world and says that we must seek them out, soak them in and care for them. The variety of personal stories, tales of travel with various Adventure Rabbi groups and contemporary alternative biblical outcomes—what if Moses had been too busy texting to notice the burning bush?—make for a book that is easily digestible but at the same time worth savoring. Purposely sized to fit easily into a backpack or pocket, the call to return to the wild—or at least your local city park—is ever present. While certainly aimed at adventuresome readers, the book's message, filled with depictions of fire, water, earth and sky, simultaneously encourages individual exploration and communal responsibility. (Apr. 8)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Advance Praise for God in the Wilderness:

“This book speaks to people of all faiths who have a hunger for reconnecting with the God of their own understandings and traditions.”
—Trudy Harris, R.N., author of Glimpses of Heaven

“A small book with powerful messages … Interpreting biblical passages and centuries of commentary, Rabbi Korngold shows how each of us can find the spiritual meaning we seek by slowing down, going outdoors, and exulting in the grandeur of nature.”
—Myra H. Strober, professor of education, Stanford University

“Weaving ancient teachings with personal and profound experiences in the wilderness, Rabbi Korngold provides a wonderful trail map for each of our journeys. She leads us to an appreciation of the joy that awaits us if we commit to walking in the natural world that is God’s gift.”
—Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein, Central Synagogue, New York City

More About the Author

Rabbi Korngold is an ordained Reform rabbi and the founder and executive director of the Adventure Rabbi Program, based in Boulder, Colorado. She is nationally recognized for her innovative work combining religion and nature, as well as for her cutting-edge use of technology.

A favorite of the media, she has been featured by Good Morning America, National Geographic, NPR, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Ski as well as many other outlets.

Rabbi Korngold is an athlete and a scholar. She completed the Leadville Trail 100, a hundred-mile running race, in less than thirty hours and was ranked fourth in the nation for telemark mogul skiing. She is a graduate of Cornell University's natural resources program and received her masters and ordination from Hebrew Union College.

Rabbi Korngold is best known for her ability to make Judaism relevant, meaningful, and accessible and therefore opening the doors back to Judaism for thousands of disenfranchised Jews. Through her nature-based approach to religion, she is able to bridge the gap between scientific thought and religion, healing a fissure that often disrupts spiritual paths.

She lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband, Jeff, and daughters, Sadie and Ori.

Find her at:
Adventure Rabbi: http://www.AdventureRabbi.org/
Facebook: http://www.AdventureRabbi.org/facebook/
Blog: http://blog.AdventureRabbi.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/adventurerabbi

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
She reminds us that we can once again.
N. Finkelstein
Of course, the bulk of Rabbi Korngold's wisdom is drawn from scriptures - and from her experience in reading the natural world itself.
David Crumm
Her personal stories and sense of humor makes this easy and fun reading.
B. Schwartz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael D. Comins on April 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
Two people look at a redwood tree. One sees an incredible, living being; the other, a new backyard deck. The difference is found in the attitudes and virtues that inform our vision. Because they miss this basic point, most attempts to understand how wilderness can affect one's spiritual life fall short. Not so Rabbi Korngold, who clearly lives her subject matter. She organizes her book around the virtues of wilderness spirituality: mindfulness, awe, Sabbath rest and more. This book is excellent for people who know they feel something special in the natural world, but don't know why this is so, or what to do with it. It's small in the backpack, and big in the heart. Mike Comins, founder of TorahTrek, author of A Wild Faith: Jewish Ways into Wilderness, Wilderness Ways into Judaism
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By I. Gurin on May 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a quick and engaging read, with an abiding passion for everything wild, and very good for certain audiences. If you are a disconnected or disaffected Jew who likes the outdoors, _God in the Wilderness_ is written for you. Consider this a five-star review. Non-Jews seeking to build an ecumenical outlook and non-religious readers trying to connect to the deeper meaning of the world may also find much of value. Korngold makes a few key aspects of Judaism accessible to novice readers through the vehicle of wilderness appreciation. She also tells a few stories that will touch any reader with a heart.

On the other hand, if you have already thought deeply about Judaism, about wilderness, and about the connection between the two, and now seek to expand your understanding, go elsewhere. You will likely find this book to be superficial, aside from the handful of moving stories I just mentioned. Consider this a two-star review.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By B. Schwartz on April 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
Rabbi Korngold's lessons are wonderful and so vital. After reading this, I felt an immediate desire to take a walk outside and reconnect with the world around me. We should all take her advice to find peace and meaning in our lives. Her personal stories and sense of humor makes this easy and fun reading. Anyone, regardless of his or her religion, can and should learn from Rabbi Korngold. I would absolutely recommend this book to everyone!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Schultz on April 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
I grew up Catholic and went through the motions until I realized that so much in the Church didn't resonate with me, and I enjoyed hiking and camping and running/walking on my hometown's nature trails so much more. My outdoor pursuits, especially a pivotal camping trip in the Utah Backcountry left me with a connection to myself, to nature, to the universe even more so than any mass or ceremony behind stained glass windows had ever attempted. I found the divine spark in nature, and tried to reconcile the better texts and wisdoms from the church in light of what supported that. I also looked to other traditions, like Buddhism & Taoism, for a richer understanding of the holy wow. I never thought to look to Judaism for the same wisdoms & connection to the earth - even though the New Testament is chock full of natural revelations of the divine, of divine revelations in nature. Not to mention rituals and holidays/ceremonies that have been born of natural events, circumstances and phenomena. And who hasn't arrived at peace of mind (and bliss) after a walk or hike or zephyr-like run? The way that Rabbi Korngold meshes these two (at first) seemingly disparate traditions - that of Judaism and outdoor recreation - is a natural step back to a less disparate and separating understanding of ourselves in the world.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Crumm on April 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
Consider the sources of wisdom that Rabbi Jamie Korngold taps in her ready-for-the-trail paperback memoir, "God in the Wildnerness." Yes, we meet such venerable sages as Maimonides, Martin Buber and Abraham Joshua Heschel. But there's also room here for Tevye from "Fiddler on the Roof" and even a bit of wisdom from "The Wizard of Oz."

Of course, the bulk of Rabbi Korngold's wisdom is drawn from scriptures - and from her experience in reading the natural world itself. She writes honestly, which is a mark of a solid, inspirational memoir. She shares with us some of her awe-inspiring moments in the wilderness - but she also shares with us some of her moments of doubt - and even moments of great danger in her relationship with outdoor sporting, including her obsession to run a marathon of 100 miles that nearly killed her.

In other words, this is a companion book. It's not a preachy, too-good-to-be-real, 10-step guide to spiritual perfection. In fact, when she reaches the end of her text, she offers us not 10 commandments for improving our world (and ourselves) - but 20, so we can pick and choose the 10 most relevant to our own lives.

I like the fact that Korngold insisted the book debut in a handy paperback edition - in itself, an invitation for us to stuff it into a pocket or bag and head outside to read it.

The book tells us a lot - but not too much - about how this congregational rabbi wound up establishing an "adventure" ministry in Colorado. She's a rabbi in the Reform movement but her approach to rethinking community - and where communities should gather - is a healthy creative force within American religion.

She's not alone, of course.
Read more ›
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