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The Journey Home: Discovering the Deep Spiritual Wisdom of the Jewish Tradition Paperback – August 1, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; New edition edition (August 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807036218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807036211
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,676,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

We can go home again but to a home we never knew we had, says Hoffman, author and professor of liturgy at Hebrew Union College in New York. He defines home as the "deep-down insights of Jewish tradition: its liturgy of blessings; its metaphors that connect life's dots; its thrill of textual discovery; its rootedness in a sacred land; its honest spiritual thinking; and [during times of suffering] its insistence on the simple presence of human meeting." His book explores each of those concepts as a path of Jewish spirituality, which he redefines as "the system of connectedness by which we make sense of our lives." Through seamless excursions into history, law, comparative religion, art, music, literature, psychology, sociology and philosophy, he examines the Jewish way of "mapping reality" to meet our most important challenge: finding shape in our lives. Hoffman's powerful yet simple explanations of Jewish basics are often themselves rooted in metaphor: for example, he compares the stages of life to the books of the Torah (Genesis as childhood, Deuteronomy as old age). Reading the Mishnah (the Jewish legal code) for spirituality, he says, is like "reading the raw data of the Census Bureau for world history." Yet he manages to explain precisely why that, too, represents a spiritual undertaking: to master its incredible detail is to open one's eyes to the presence of God in minutiae. Hoffman's lucid and eloquent interpretations will appeal to Jewish and non-Jewish readers searching to understand Judaism and to "connect the dots" in their own lives.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Rabbi Hoffman is a respected author on matters of Judaism whose books include What Is a Jew? and Israel: A Spiritual Travel Guide. In this book he takes up the question of Jewish spirituality in an attempt to address the current climate of spiritual seeking, in which many members of traditional faiths find themselves unfulfilled and either augment their practice by borrowing from other traditions or abandon their tradition altogether. Hoffman's basic premise is that much of what passes for spirituality these days is superficial and unstructured compared with the richness of well-established traditions. Unfortunately, the text doesn't make a case for the spiritual richness of Judaism that is likely to satisfy the type of disaffected seeker Hoffman describes. His own understanding of the tradition and the fulfillment it affords him is, however, evident, and perceptive readers will find this inspiring. The real strength of the book is its overview and analysis of Judaism, which makes it a useful guide for non-Jews who want to understand what it means to be a practicing Jew. This title would work well for most public and academic collections but is not an essential purchase. Mark Woodhouse, Elmira Coll. Lib., NY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Cohen on November 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a stimulating book. Rabbi Hoffman is capable, he's scholarly and he can write about theological issues in a way that won't confuse, baffle or frighten the reader. This book is recommended for Jews looking for a way to view their religion in the context of contemporary life, as well as those seeking paths to improve their connection to G-d.
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