From Publishers Weekly
Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the neo-Hasidic Jewish Renewal movement, and Miles-Yepez, his cofounder of the Sufi-Hasidic Inyati Maimuni Tariqat, a Jewish order of Sufis, have woven an engrossing and soulful reflection, rife with illustrative stories and accompanying explanations, on the Hasidic masters of 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century Europe. The flowing, almost conversational tone is intended for a larger, less traditional audience; the authors seek to engage the spectrum of Jews as well as non-Jews in discovery of the presence of God. To that end, they freely incorporate parallel Hindu, Buddhist and Sufi narratives and traditions. The authors bring to life anecdotes describing the lives and teachings of the various ba'alei shem
(men of great name) and those closest to them, and especially that of the most famous, Yisra'el ben Eliezer, better known as the Ba'al Shem Tov, whose legacy inspires Hasidim to this day. This collaboration will delight readers of all backgrounds who are searching for a spirited and spiritual perspective on Hasidic evolution and lore. (June)
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"Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (Reb Zalman) has, almost single-handedly, brought living, formative, Hasidic spirituality to three generations of liberal Jews. Indeed, his astonishingly fecund ideas and stories have profoundly altered the landscape of American Judaism. In A Heart Afire, Zalman now shares with us the mother lode of his teaching and example. We are all ever in his debt."—Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, Emanu-El Scholar at Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco. He is the author of Kabbalah: A Love Story and numerous books on Jewish spirituality.
(Rabbi Lawrence Kushner)
"This book is a brilliant anthology of early hasidic teaching, but it is much, much more. The teachings are embedded in Reb Zalman's profoundly felt, life-long practice of Jewish renewal, and his universalistic outlook that encompasses teachings from Sufism, Buddhism and depth psychology . . . This is a book to read and reread, absorb and cherish."—Rodger Kamenetz, author of The History of Last Night's Dream and The Jew in the Lotus.
"A Heart Afire is a tour-de-force that will take its place beside the efforts of Buber and Wiesel to bring the deep spiritual practices, stories and perspective of Hassidic tradition to life and to be of service to contemporary readers of all persuasions. A must for homes and universities, this combination of historical perspective, clear, readable and inspiring translations brings a broader range of Hassidic masters to the reader's attention than has ever before been available."—Rabbi Goldie Milgram, author of Meaning & Mitzvah: Daily Practices for Reclaiming Judaism through Prayer, God, Torah, Hebrew, Mitzvot & Peoplehood; Reclaiming Judaism as a Spiritual Practice: Holy Days and Shabbat; among other recent books.
(Rabbi Goldie Milgram)
"An engrossing and soulful reflection, rife with illustrative stories and accompanying explanations . . . will delight readers of all backgrounds who are searching for a spirited and spiritual perspective on Hasidic evolution and lore."—Publishers Weekly
"The interpretations in A Heart Afire are as rich and meaningful as the teaching and tales themselves in this intimate guide of Hasidism and Hasidic storytelling . . . As a bridge between both worlds, Reb Zalman, and his co-author and student Netanel Miles-Yepez, introduce the reader to rare and unique translations...with their own personal reflections on their meaning."—Jewish Media Review
"His last two volumes speak to the genuine quality if our faith and given his reputation, should enable those who otherwise wouldn’t lift up a book on yiddishkeit, to read and learn of our Jewish traditions."—Jewish Star