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Practical Kabbalah: A Guide to Jewish Wisdom for Everyday Life by [Wolf, Laibl]
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4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Kabbalah remains shrouded in mystery even to those familiar with the ideas of its teachings. An ancient Jewish tradition that espouses theosophy, Kabbalah seeks to use mysticism to explain the relationship between the universe and man, by means of 10 steps known as sefirot. Those who are well-versed in Kabbalah are considered holy men, respected tremendously in their communities and turned to in times of question or need. Yet, Kabbalah need not remain delegated to a select few; as Rabbi Laibl Wolf invites in his book Practical Kabbalah: A Guide to Jewish Wisdom for Everyday Life: "Embark on a spiritual adventure with a down-to-earth destination" using the powers, or "spiritual flows," of sefirot. Using this mystical tradition, Rabbi Wolk aims to make the fundamental principles relevant to everyday life, to help people use it as a means of self-understanding and furthering personal growth.

The first section, "Spirit Move," explores the tradition of Kabbalah, tracing its roots to the Bible and comparing many of its traditions to Eastern religions, suggesting they originated in the same beliefs. The second section, "Flows of Mind and Emotion," devotes a chapter to each of the sefirot--three of which relate to the mind, the other seven to emotion--to show how you can use these tenets to improve your life. For instance, Tif'eret relates to a wise heart, and its chapter concentrates on ideas such as "inner balance for wellness," truth and beauty, and compassion using the teachings of Maimonides and the Bible, a Hasidic tale, an exercise, a meditation, and even some thoughts on Deepak Chopra.

If you are searching for a book that will explain the doctrine of Kabbalah, this is not the book for you. However, for a spiritual person looking for a way to integrate some of the more popular self-help techniques into religious practice, Practical Kabbalah is an excellent guide. --Jenny Brown

From Publishers Weekly

Kabbalah is the richest repository of ancient Jewish mysticism. Its myriad writings express the profundity of God's mysteries and "explain the eternal laws of how spiritual energy moves through the Cosmos." For centuries, holy men have devoted their entire lives to plumbing its depths. Rabbi Wolf, who leads workshops and seminars on Kabbalah, believes that the great wisdom of Kabbalah can be used in everyday life to achieve balance and harmony. In the first section of the book, Wolf provides a useful introduction to the history of Kabbalah and its interpretation. He discusses Kabbalah's many layers and paints a picture of the kabbalist, someone whose life is devoted to prayer and the study of Kabbalah. In his second section, Wolf elaborates upon the 10 Sefirot, "the spiritual energies of Mind and Emotion," that make up Kabbalah. The Kabbalah teaches that the universe's creation is incomplete and these Sefirot are the tools we can use to "create the environment through which the universe can be perfected." For example, Wolf interprets "Hessed" as the "unlocking flow of love." He notes that "Hessed is the dominant flow that propels us to a state of oneness and unity." As in the other meditations, Wolf offers a variety of meditation exercises on the Sefirot so that the Sefirot can be woven into everyday life. The author uses stories from Hasidic teachers, biblical stories and personal anecdotes to illustrate the ways that Kabbalah can guide seekers to spiritual unity. (June)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 459 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (May 6, 2010)
  • Publication Date: May 19, 2010
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003FCVG58
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #437,001 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nicholas P. Linindoll on October 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
The voice that Rabbi Wolf uses in this book and his writing style make it accessible and enjoyable to read. A wonderful introduction to the kabbalistic "Tree of Life" or Sfirot. Each chapter is dedicated to a sfirah or point on the tree and they are described in great detail. Beyond that, the author takes the theory out of the abstract metaphysical realm and uses illustrations that apply to everyday life and we see how the metaphysical interacts with the physical. There are some wonderful, practical meditations in this book that I still use often and share with others as often as I can. Great read!

Shortly after finishing the book, I had the opportunity to hear Rabbi Wolf speak during a USA tour. He is as well-spoken, knowledgable, caring, and passionate in person. I agree with other reviewers who say that he is "a teacher of our times."
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By A Customer on October 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
While this book isn't an exhaustive dive into Judaism's complex mystical books of Zohar and Tanya, it's a refreshing dip into the basics, in a useful and practical form. This is an ambitious project, and Wolf delivers what he promises.
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Format: Paperback
Without diminishing its grandeur, Laibl Wolf has brought the basic teachings of the Kabbalah into the real world. I think this book is a must-read for anyone who has the slightest interest in Jewish mysticism. A fascinating read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kabbalah is not easy to grasp, in fact, it is a life long study. This book is the most understandable intro to Kabbalah I have found, without making it so easy that the spiritual essence is lost. Rabbi Wolf loves Kabbalah, and he treats his subject and his readers with utmost respect.
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Format: Paperback
Kabbalah is the ancient Jewish wisdom that unlocks the secrets of the universe and allows us to reach our full potential.

In this volume, Rabbi Laibl Wolf explains how the basics of Kabbalah and how we can use it to create balance in our lives and relationships and further our goals.
He begins by explaining the roots of Kabbalah with the Hebrew patriarch Abraham, and it's similarities with Hinduism and Buddhism.

Explaining that some of Abraham's sons migrated from the Land of Israel to India.
In Brahman Indus means the |"other sider"- the Ivri! (Hebrew). Furthermore the Deity BRAHMAN, is simply a rearrangement of the basic letters of the father's name ABRAHAM. Abraham's great grandson Ashurim said to have created the spiritual commune known as the ashram".

The author explains the blueprint of the Cosmos and who the kabbalists are before introducing the ten sefirot, the ten divine attributes that manifest through the four "worlds" or "realms" called Olamot, and which actualize the lowest Olam as the ten aspects of personality consisting of mind and emotion.
He examines each of the ten sefirot (attributes) we need for balance and fulfilment.
These are
Chochma- wisdom
Bina- understanding
Da'at- knowledge
Hessed- kindness
Gevurah- strength
Tiferet- The beauty of balance
Netzach- connection
Hod- empathy
Yesod- determination and dedication and
Malchut- sovereignty, and the combination of the other nine sefirot into one.
The book includes meditations and words by luminaries such as Deepak Chopra and the Dalai Lama, explaining how their insight into ancient wisdom fits in with the wisdom of kabbalah and therefore ultimately Judaism.
It provides a blueprint for fulfillment, understanding and living life to the full, all through a meaningful connection with the Creator.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone who can take the complex and convoluted body of Jewish Mystical teachings and create a very readable and accessible work that you can put into practice in your daily life deserves praise. I found the history and correspondences with Eastern mysticism interesting.
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Format: Paperback
Rabbi Wolf begins with an overview and his credentials...he is a disciple of Rebbe Schneerson and a lifelong student of Judaism and Kabbalah. This is important to know when you see how many phony 'experts' there are on Kabbalah. He also writes about the history of Jewish mysticism and points out where there is controversy.

Then he dealves into the structure of the Kabbalistic 'universe' the ten Sefirot flowing through four worlds. He offers meditations and exercises to enhance one's understanding of the concepts. He describes them in psychological terms, but reassures the reader that these concepts are infinitely large and infinitely small.

Halfway through the book I was inspired to purchase several more books on the subject. That is the best recommendation I can give
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been reading and studying Kabbalah teachings for several years, and this is definitely the best book I have ever encountered. Thank you Rabbi Wolf for sharing your exceptional knowledge with the world!
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