From the Inside Flap
Take Control of Your Boredom
We all have moments when we feel as if we have nothing new to contribute to the world, when the monotony of routine minimizes our intensity for learning, prayer, and our hunger for wonder. We may even feel as if we are subjected to boredom at every turn because of the impossibility of newness. But there is a way to use our boredom as an invitation to revisit our expectations and our responsibility for self-engagement.
Exploring spiritual boredom through the lenses of psychology, philosophy, and theology, as well as Jewish prayer, community, and education, Dr. Erica Brown demonstrates how we can recast our ability to create, invent, and discover that which is new by following the teachings of Judaism--to stop and take note, to reflect in community and in private prayer, and most importantly, to act.
Describing practical ways for changing our attitude toward boredom, she illustrates that although there will never be an end to boredom, with planning and insight we may get closer to managing it, leveraging it, and allowing it to teach us something about ourselves.
"[A] path-breaking book.... Identifies the spiritual ennui that is rarely addressed and that results in yawns and in alienation. It then tells us what we can do about it to establish a Judaism that can re-excite our souls, our minds, and our hearts."
--Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author, Jewish Literacy and A Code of Jewish Ethics
"Insightful, challenging, even transformative--a welcome antidote to those who would just shrug and say that there's nothing we can do to infuse our Jewish lives with more joy, more meaning, and more spirit."
--Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, editor, New Jewish Feminism: Probing the Past, Forging the Future
About the Author
Dr. Erica Brown, an inspiring writer and educator, is scholar-in-residence for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. She consults for the Jewish Agency and other Jewish non-profits, and is a faculty member of the Wexner Foundation. She is an Avi Chai Fellow, winner of the Ted Farber Professional Excellence Award, and the recipient of a Covenant Award for her work in education. She is author of Confronting Scandal: How Jews Can Respond When Jews Do Bad Things; Inspired Jewish Leadership: Practical Approaches to Building Strong Communities, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, and Spiritual Boredom: Rediscovering the Wonder of Judaism; and co-author of The Case for Jewish Peoplehood: Can We Be One? (all Jewish Lights). She contributed to We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet, Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un'taneh Tokef and All These Vows—Kol Nidre (both Jewish Lights). She lectures widely on subjects of Jewish interest and leadership. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with her husband and four children, and can be reached at www.EricaBrown.com.