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Torah Journeys: The Inner Path to the Promised Land Paperback – October 30, 2006


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Torah Journeys: The Inner Path to the Promised Land + The Magic of Hebrew Chant: Healing the Spirit, Transforming the Mind, Deepening Love (For People of All Faiths, All Backgrounds) + The Magic of Hebrew Chant Companion: The Big Book of Musical Notations and Incantations
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Ben Yehuda Press (October 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976986264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976986263
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #535,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you dare be addressed by God -- read it. If you dare be transformed by God -- practice it." -- Rabbi Rami Shapiro Author of The Divine Feminine

From the Publisher

Shefa Gold is renowned in Jewish Renewal circles and beyond for her teachings, particularly in the realms of chanting, meditation, and connecting to the sacred. She received rabbinical ordinations from both the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi.

In Torah Journeys, Rabbi Gold reveals a blessing and a challenge hidden in each weekly Torah portion. Rabbi Gold teaches that the Torah is happening now, and that its stories - from the Creation in Genesis through the death of Moses at the end of Deuteronomy - are about each individual's life journey.

Drawing from her spiritual search as an adept in an array of practices, Rabbi Gold offers transformative practices for each week, ranging from meditation to visualization to chant.

Torah Journeys is the fruit of the religious journey of an engaging teacher with an impressive grasp of Jewish texts and liturgy. Her experience of other traditions inspired Rabbi Gold to search out similar tools in Judaism to expand consciousness, become fully human and know God.

Rabbi Gold shares with us her insightful approach to Bible study and personal growth. The result is poetry for the soul. Torah Journeys is a book that is not merely about Jewish Renewal, but in fact, gives the reader tools to do it.


More About the Author

RABBI SHEFA GOLD, INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKER, MUSICIAN AND LEADER IN JEWISH SPIRITUALITY

Rabbi Shefa Gold is a leader in Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal and received her ordination both from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. She is the director of C-DEEP: The Center for Devotional, Energy and Ecstatic Practice in Jemez Springs, New Mexico and around the world.

Shefa composes and performs spiritual music, has produced ten albums, and her liturgies have been published in several new prayer books. She teaches workshops and retreats on the theory and art of Chanting, Devotional Healing, Spiritual Community Building, Meditation, and trains Chant Leaders in Kol Zimra, a two year program for rabbis, cantors and lay leaders.

She is also on the faculty of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Shefa combines her grounding in Judaism with a background in Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, and Native American spiritual traditions to make her uniquely qualified as a spiritual bridge celebrating the shared path of devotion. She is the author of "Torah Journeys: The Inner Path to the Promised Land" released in 2006 and "In The Fever of Love: An Illumination of the Song of Songs" released in 2008.


SHEFA GOLD, TRANSFORMATIONAL AUTHOR

THE MAGIC OF HEBREW CHANTING

Shefa Gold's latest book is The Magic of Hebrew Chant: Healing the Spirit, Transforming the Mind, Deepening Love (For People of All Faiths, All Backgrounds) Paperback

On one occasion, she recalls, "I was practicing chant with a group and a very old man was there. Tears were running down his cheeks. He told me that he remembered the Rebbe doing this in Europe before World War II. That's when I realized that Hebrew chant is not a new practice; I'm simply revitalizing it."


IN THE FEVER OF LOVE

Can we connect to God through love? Can we connect to love through God?

Those are the questions that underlie Rabbi Shefa Gold's book, In the Fever of Love: An Illumination of the Song of Songs.

Rabbi Gold is a leader of the Jewish Renewal movement and composer of six albums of Jewish liturgical music. Her new book is an intimate erotic elaboration of the Song of Songs in which she speaks directly and passionately to God, The Beloved.


TORAH JOURNEYS:: The Inner Path to the Promised Land by Rabbi Shefa Gold (Oct 30, 2006)

Rabbi Shefa Gold's new book, Torah Journeys, is a trip. It's not a trip through the scenic byways of northern New Mexico, or along Route 66. It is a journey along an ancient and venerable Jewish pathway of spiritual and personal discovery.
What makes it so special is that it takes the difficult and often obscure, and makes it accessible, and in so doing opens our hearts, and speaks to our yearning soul.

Our tradition teaches us that it is our responsibility to study Torah daily, and prescribes a portion of Torah for every week of the calendar year. For many contemporary Jews, observing that Mitzvah can be challenging, partly because some portions are dense and difficult to understand, and partly because many of us have limited Hebrew skills, or lack the scholarly skills needed to reach into these ancient texts and decode their meaning.


SHEFA GOLD, INSPIRATIONAL KOL ZIMRA SEMINAR LEADER

Shefa Gold leads Kol Zimra: Chant Leader's Professional Development. It is a Two-Year Training Program led by Rabbi Shefa Gold & Rachmiel O'Regan Assisted by: Judith Dack, Yaffa Schnitzer, Prahaladan Mandelkorn & Ariel Lippman

"This song is directly inspired by Isaiah, particularly the words of Haftorah Ekev. It is dedicated to the students of Kol Zimra ( my leadership training program) who are my daily inspiration." - Rabbi Shefa Gold

"At Kol Zimra, we build a Mishkan for spiritual work. The sacred phrase becomes the tool of that building project. By using that tool, we are gradually initiated into an intimate relationship with text. The sacred text becomes our modality for... healing, community-building, deep inner exploration, the doorway into meditative states, cultivating midot, connection with the ancestors, with God and with our deepest truth." - Shefa Gold

KOL ZIMRA FACULTY INCLUDE

Rabbi Shefa Gold is a leader in ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal and received her ordination both from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. She is the director of C-DEEP: The Center for Devotional, Energy and Ecstatic Practice in Jemez Springs, New Mexico and around the world. Shefa composes and performs spiritual music, has produced ten albums, and her liturgies have been published in several new prayerbooks. She teaches workshops and retreats on the theory and art of Chanting, Devotional Healing, Spiritual Community Building, Meditation, and trains Chant Leaders in Kol Zimra, a two year program for rabbis, cantors and lay leaders. She is also on the faculty of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Shefa combines her grounding in Judaism with a background in Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, and Native American spiritual traditions to make her uniquely qualified as a spiritual bridge celebrating the shared path of devotion. She is the author of three books Torah Journeys: The Inner Path to the Promised Land, In The Fever of Love: An Illimination of the Song of Songs and The Magic of Hebrew Chant (Along with its companion: The Big Book of Musical Notations and Incantations).

Rachmiel O'Regan, MA., Co-Director of C-DEEP: Center for Devotional, Energy and Ecstatic Practice. Shefa's husband, Rachmiel, has been a workshop and ritual leader, musician, chi qong teacher and holistic health practitioner for more than 30 years and a master's level counselor for over 25 years.

Judith Dack has been chanting with Reb Shefa since 1998 and joined the Kol Zimra faculty in 2008. Judith creates community art programs with the theme of soul discovery using the transformative power of art making in combination with chanting and writing. She welcomes each Kol Zimra participant to the experience of retreat with enthusiasm and joy. She is a graduate of the first cohorts of the Kol Zimra Chant Leaders Training and DLTI (Davvenen Leadership Training Institute) and has accompanied Reb Shefa on spiritual pilgrimage to Peru and Ecuador/Galapagos. Judith is active in the Jewish Renewal movement through her service on the Aleph Board and the IF/ECCJS Advisory Board. She was best known as the yoga teacher for many summers and Shavuot at Elat Chayyim's Jewish Spiritual Retreat Center. Judith is a Designer and Artist residing in both Chevy Chase, MD and Woodstock, NY. She is the mother of two grown daughters.

Yaffah Schnitzer has been chanting/studying with Reb Shefa since 1998 and joined the Kol Zimra faculty in 2008. She is a graduate of the first cohort of the Kol Zimra Chant Leaders Training and for many years, has convened a monthly Shabbat Chant Circle at Bethesda Jewish Congregation in Bethesda, MD. She teaches Israeli and sacred dance and has created KZance, a choreographed dance program that complements the Kol Zimra Chant Leadership training. She holds a Master's Degree in counseling, and is also a passionate Jewish spiritual seeker, wellness coach and advocate, and is the drummer in the BJC Simcha b'Shabbat Band. Yaffah resides in Reston, VA with her husband, Rabbi Sunny Schnitzer. They have four grown daughters.

Ariel Lippman graduated from Kol Zimra 2, as well as R. Nadya Gross' Secrets My Grandmother Told Me Kabbalah Wisdom School. She leads chant circles, shabbat and holiday services, workshops, and retreats in the Charlottesville and DC areas with Prahaladan Mandelkorn. She has been trained in Reiki and Jewish Energy Healing, as well as Women in Power ShadowWork. As a Senior Research Scientist at Child Trends, a non-profit in Bethesda, MD, she specializes in child well-being indicators, and has published books, chapters, and articles on flourishing and spirituality among youth. She has a 26 year-old son.

Prahaladan (Pip) Mandelkorn, former Navy Seal Team Platoon Commander, Time Magazine Correspondent and Sen. Robert Kennedy speech-writer, lived and studied with Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shelomi and collaborated with him on the book Fragments of a Future Scroll; studied and trained with Sri Swami Satchidiananda, serving as Director of Programs at Yogaville and Director of Integral Yoga Teacher Training; collaborated with him on the books To Know Your Self and The Living Gita; friend and student of Rabbi Shefa Gold since 1997 and graduate of her Kol Zimra 1 Training. Currently giving talks on the Bhagavad Gita, and with Ariel Lippman co-leads Yoga Wisdom and Kabbalah workshops, Shabbat services, Sacred Chant Circles, Passover Seders and Yom Kippur programs; now offering financial services in Charlottesville, VA and currently working on the Torah Gita, a book of Torah selections with commentary for modern-day seekers.


C-DEEP
Center for Devotional, Energy and Ecstatic Practice (C-DEEP) with Rabbi Shefa Gold & Rachmiel O'Regan, MA. C-DEEP serves:

* Those who would build a deep and abiding Center of Awareness through Meditation and Jewish Contemplative practice.

* Those on a Devotional path who have a commitment to live from the heart and do the work required to grow in love each day. * Those who understand what it means to perceive the world as Energy and want to become energy-workers. * Those who want to explore Ecstatic states in order to expand their perceptive and creative potential.

* And those who have a commitment to Practice on a daily, and hopefully moment to moment, basis.


COMMENTS FROM PARTICIPANTS:

"A profound melding of meditation, chant, movement and ritual in a sweet, supportive environment. I took home a clearer mind, a soul refreshed, and a deeper spiritual practice." ~ Diane

"Shefa and Rachmiel's C-DEEP retreat was life transforming for me. Not only did I experience the presence of the God-Force in new and powerful ways, I took away specific techniques and practices that have continued to deepen that relationship." ~ Yafa "Shefa's dedication to impeccability in practice, playfulness and contagious spirit of love and service combined with the beauty of the Center created an experience that still resonates in my heart a year later." ~ Carol

"The Ecstatic Meditation retreat in New Mexico enabled me to open up to a spiritual space that has greatly enhanced my life. A year later the C-DEEP experience still reminds me to live in the present every day with love and compassion. " ~ Bruce

RABBI ZALMAN SCHACHTER-SHALOMI: "Rabbi Shefa knows how to contact the deep patterns of soul growth. She does that in the dimensions of sound, meditation, movement, and transformation for people. Her Center for Devotional, Energy & Ecstatic Practice (C-DEEP) will serve those who are tired of doing only the beginner's work."


UPCOMING PROJECTS

In the forth coming book, Music, The Carrier of Intention in 49 Jewish Prayers, fifty Jewish musicians, singers, cantors, and artists share their insights on Jewish prayers, passages from the Hebrew bible, and the intentions of their hearts as they connect with their communities, the world around them and something greater than themselves. Shefa Gold, who has been studying and working with the power of intention for over 25 years writes the introduction to this diverse and ground breaking book.

Music, The Carrier of Intention in 49 Jewish Prayers, is edited by Elizabeth Goldstein, Gonzaga professor and rabbi along with Kimberly Burnham, PhD, The Nerve Whisperer and recent convert to Judaism and Ann White, publisher and creator of the Creating Calm Network Publishing Group and Radio Network.


Customer Reviews

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First, I read it week by week.
B.J.
She has a gift for articulating inner conversations, giving voice to the Work of being true to one's highest self.
David E. S. Stein
It makes the Torah accessable, understandable and relevant.
Linda Wertz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By David E. S. Stein on October 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
For about two decades, Rabbi Gold has been gifting the world with memorable sacred songs and chants. This is her first book, and it's been worth waiting for. In it, she relates to Torah with the same artistic sensibilities that have infused her music. She has a gift for articulating inner conversations, giving voice to the Work of being true to one's highest self. Perhaps this is why the prose is relatively vivid for a book dealing with Torah, and why it excels in its genre.

This book looks unblinkingly at Torah through the eyes of an earnest and experienced traveler on spiritual paths. She does not set herself up as a guru telling us what to think; rather, she models for us a process of textual encounter and introspection that we can make our own. With the highest respect for Torah and with a straightforward style that is never preachy, she shows us how to employ the biblical text as a mirror that we can turn on our inner selves, to help us see more clearly what we sometimes hide from our own view.

Many urbane, contemporary Jews find certain parts of the Torah boring, unredeemably sexist, or otherwise primitive; it is most instructive to see what Rabbi Gold makes of those aspects: she challenges herself to embrace all of Torah, to read it in such a way that makes the text sacred to her. One anecdote that she relates (p. 18) sums up well the noble goal of this book. One afternoon, she was describing to a friend what the ongoing discipline of writing this book was like: "You can't sit back and criticize . . . what you don't like in the Torah. Instead, you must search for those same difficulties in yourself and then engage in a process of healing and purification. Instead of blaming, you have to take responsibility.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Linda Wertz on November 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am amazed at how perceptive,thought provoking and user friendly this book is. If you or someone you know thinks Judaism and Torah are outdated & don't relate to contemporary life, then this book is just what you (or they) need to read. It makes the Torah accessable, understandable and relevant. Finally, it also connects to spiritual aspects of Judaism and shows how all these things can come together in today's world and life.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Diane Elliot on December 25, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Torah Journeys represents Rabbi Shefa Gold's life work--not only the specific work of her own life, but also her template for a life of spiritual work based in the quintessential Jewish text, the Five Books of Moses, Chumash, or Torah, as it is variously known. As a student and teacher of Torah myself, I have long relied upon Rabbi Gold's fresh, embodied visions and powerful chants to take me deeper into Torah text, and then to turn me outward, back into my own life, with expanded awareness and with new spiritual tools.

Now she has gathered her years of teaching into a beautifully conceived and lovingly executed volume. Her writing is carefully crafted, poetic and evocative, bringing alive the spiritual qualities embedded in the Biblical text in a way that is both accessible and deep. Moving us through the year-long cycle of Torah readings, Reb Shefa reveals how, each week, we might wrest blessing, accept challenge, and receive guidance from words of sacred scripture that often seem, to our modern sensibility, opaque or even repulsive. There is great hope and great joy in this work, for it is predicated on the assumption that we human beings can grow, can expand our awareness, and move through difficult and painful patterns by mining layers of resonance already held in suspension within our own, time-honored traditions.

In fact, these pages dance alive the true meaning of the word "tradition"--from the Latin tradere, to "carry forward" or to "carry across." Indeed, Torah Journeys does carry us, again and again, into sparkling lands of clarity and grace, vast mind-spaces in which students and spiritual practitioners, Jew and non-Jew alike, can come to appreciate anew the riches of an ancient text through a lens that seeks always to transform challenge into blessing and questing into practice. This book can become a life companion, to be read and cherished year after year.
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