Item description for The Book of Words (Sefer Shel Devarim): Talking Spiritual Life, Living Spiritual Talk (The Kushner series) by Lawrence Kushner...
Overview In the incomparable manner of his award-winning "The Book of Letters: A Mystical Alphabet", Kushner now lifts up and shakes the dust off 30 primary religious words used to describe the spiritual dimension of our lives.
"According to the Hebrew Bible, God made the world with words. God just spoke and the world became reality. (The Aramaic for 'I create as I speak' is avara k davara, or in magician s language, abracadabra.) . . . This does not protect words from the numbing effects of overuse in any religious tradition. . . . We need to dust off the words, shake away the accretions, wonder again about what they originally might have meant and enable ourselves to live in the word." from the Introduction
With creativity and poetry (and occasional heresy) Kushner dusts off thirty classical Hebrew words, shakes them free of the effects of generations of overuse, re-translates them, and liberates their ancient holy power. The result is a contemporary spiritual guide for your personal religious life.
According to the Hebrew Bible, God made the world with words. God just spoke and the world came into being. Words therefore are not merely sounds signifying something else; they are instruments of creation, primary reality itself. They need only to be read, spoken, and interpreted. And to know them is to know reality itself.
Kushner has designed the book himself, seamlessly blending graphics and content. In doing so he evokes the aesthetics of an ancient manuscript and a vision of our power to shape the future.
Each finely crafted chapter begins with a Hebrew word and Kushner s provocative English translation. At the bottom of the page is a transliteration of the Hebrew along with its more customary English rendering. In addition to his own intriguing definition, he includes a biblical citation anchoring the word, along with a more recent text showing the word s evolution. Finally, we are offered a personal, meditative exercise designed to enable you to live in the word. "
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Studio: Jewish Lights Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.4" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Oct 15, 1998
Publisher Jewish Lights Publishing
ISBN 1580230202 ISBN13 9781580230209
Availability 0 units.
More About Lawrence Kushner
Lawrence Kushner, author, lecturer and spiritual leader, is regarded as one of the most creative religious thinkers and writers in America. A commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, he has focused us on spiritual renewal with wisdom and humor. Through his books and lectures, people of every faith and background have found inspiration and new strength for spiritual search and growth. It has been said that some spiritual leaders blend religion and psychology to help us walk better on the ground, but Lawrence Kushner draws on the wisdom of the mystics to help us dance better on the ceiling.
Kushner's acclaimed books include I'm God; You're Not: Observations on Organized Religion & Other Disguises of the Ego; Honey from the Rock: An Easy Introduction to Jewish Mysticism; Invisible Lines of Connection: Sacred Stories of the Ordinary; The Book of Letters: A Mystical Hebrew Alphabet; Jewish Spirituality: A Brief Introduction for Christians;and In God's Hands, an inspiring fable for children, with Gary Schmidt (all Jewish Lights).
Kushner served as rabbi at Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, Massachusetts, for almost thirty years; he is currently the Emanu-El scholar at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, and an adjunct faculty member at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He is fascinated by graphic design and computers (designing most of his Jewish Lights books). He enjoys Mozart, hanging around sailboats, and making his granddaughters giggle.
Lawrence Kushner currently resides in Boston Sanfrancisco San Franci, in the state of Massachusetts. Lawrence Kushner was born in 1943.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Book of Words (Sefer Shel Devarim): Talking Spiritual Life, Living Spiritual Talk (The Kushner series)?
A Rare Book - Maybe to Change your Life! Jan 31, 2003
About every week or so this book practically jumps off my shelf!Whenever I am looking for the best Hebrew word to use in a poem, review, or sermon, I check-out this good Rabbi's Hebrew words! For an occasional Columbia Seminary class in the Old Testament, in Walter Brueggemann's Psalms I found new interest in learning Hebrew aleph-beit.
From Rabbi Kushner's short two-page Introduction to his "Book of Words" he briefly describes in volunes of meaning: "According to the Hebrew Bible, God made the world with words. God just spoke and the world became reality. (The Aramaic for "I create as I speak" is avara k'davara, or in magician's language, abracadabra.) Not only are words the instrument of creation, in Judaism they are primary reality itself." I Was Hooked by That!
The Hebrew words meaning most to me are, b'rahkah or blessing; hit-la-ha-voot or Ecstasy. Kushner stated: "There can be joy in silence or with tears...in their occasions joyous laughter turns out to be sacred." The word ecstasy also appears in Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms," coming in the most dramatic moment!
The word for prayer has meant much: t'fee-lah as the Rabbi uses the phonetic spelling. In his last page for each word he writes a Kavanah or Living Spiritual Talk: "In prayer you need to know a 'script' so well that you can recite the words on 'auto-pilot' but not so well, that the words are habitual."
I soon passed onto his "Book of Letters," then, "God was in this Place and I, i did not know." Again, it was Awesome: A Mystery! What a forcefully creative writer! Retired Chap. Fred W Hood
A Small Book With Enormous Impact! May 1, 2000
I thought I understood the meaning of the words presented here, but Kushner's definitions really startled me, challenged me, and engaged me! His unconventional definitions brought new light to so many words I thought I understood, and all too often took for granted. He poignantly demonstrates how words, and the way we define and understand them, affect more than our vocabulary! This is a small book, but it is far from a 'quick read' because its words will enter your thoughts over and over, often when you least expect it, each time offering a new insight, each time helping you understand how the very words we use--and the way we define them--affect our lives and the lives of those around us. It is a book whose 'words' continue to influence long after you close its cover, a book for which I greatly thank the author.