Rabbi Rami Shapiro says that he went in search of Zen Judaism and found it in Hasidic literature. In writings that speak of the unity of self, God, and the world, he found a deeply spiritual tradition hidden within Judaism, for which many Jews have looked elsewhere.
From years of work in his own synagogue, Rabbi Shapiro developed 10 spiritual practices that help ground a person in divine reality and achieve balance in internal and external affairs. Perhaps you don't associate meditation or "ethical consumption" with the Torah, but Shapiro convincingly demonstrates their value to, and history within, Judaism. Eight other practices, such as attention, generosity, and kindness make up Shapiro's metaphorical Minyan. As the ties binding all things become more and more evident in this book, the necessity of persistent self-development also becomes clear. Shapiro places the self as a necessary link in a community, thereby providing us with the refuge of solitude along with the power and love of community.
Neither a conservative Hasidic nor a head-in-the-clouds mystic, Shapiro offers a detailed, tested way of Jewish spiritual growth and fulfillment.
From the Publisher
My criterion for publishing most Bell Tower books is "Does this book change my spiritual practice?" and when Minyan arrived on my desk, it caused an enormous change in my life. I tend to work eight days a week but when I read the chapter on observing the sabbath, I was so moved by it, I stopped working for 25 hours each week. I come home on Friday evening and put all my manuscripts in one big pile on the table and don't touch them again until Saturday evening. That's hard for me because I am generally unable to rest until all the work is done (of course, this is an impossible situation), so I eye the pile from time to time but I let it rest also. I can't say that I'm actually celebrating the sabbath yet, but at least I'm not working. It's a beginning. And this is only one of the ten principles described in Rami's book. Oh, one more thing: since Rami's website is called The Virtual Yeshiva, I call him my virtual rebbe.
--Toinette Lippe, Bell Tower, Editorial Director