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The Book of Words (Sefer Shel Devarim): Talking Spiritual Life, Living Spiritual Talk (The Kushner series) [Paperback]

By Lawrence Kushner (Author)
Find more in Kushner Series
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Item description for The Book of Words (Sefer Shel Devarim): Talking Spiritual Life, Living Spiritual Talk (The Kushner series) by Lawrence Kushner...

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.

Publishers Description

"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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Item Specifications...

Studio: Jewish Lights Publishing
Pages   152
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.4"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 15, 1998
Publisher   Jewish Lights Publishing
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  1580230202  
ISBN13  9781580230209  

Availability  127 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 11:45.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Lawrence Kushner

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is one of the most widely read authors by people of all faiths on Jewish spiritual life. He is the best-selling author of such books as Invisible Lines of Connection: Sacred Stories of the Ordinary; God Was in This Place & I, i Did Not Know: Finding Self, Spirituality and Ultimate Meaning; Honey from the Rock: An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism; The Book of Letters: A Mystical Hebrew Alphabet; The Book of Miracles: A Young Person's Guide to Jewish Spiritual Awareness; The Book of Words: Talking Spiritual Life, Living Spiritual Talk; Eyes Remade for Wonder: A Lawrence Kushner Reader; I'm God, You're Not: Observations on Organized Religion and other Disguises of the Ego; Jewish Spirituality: A Brief Introduction for Christians; The River of Light: Jewish Mystical Awareness; The Way Into Jewish Mystical Tradition; and co-author of Because Nothing Looks Like God; How Does God Make Things Happen?; Where Is God?; What Does God Look Like?; and In God's Hands. He is the Emanu-El Scholar at San Francisco's Congregation Emanu-El and an adjunct professor of Jewish mysticism and spirituality at Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion.Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is available to speak on the following topics: Jewish Mystical Imagination Rymanover s Silent Aleph: What Really Happened on Sinai Zohar on Romance and Revelation What Makes Kabbalah Kabbalah Sacred Stories of the Ordinary: When God Makes a Surprise Appearance in Everyday LifeClick here to contact the author.

Lawrence Kushner currently resides in Boston Sanfrancisco San Franci, in the state of Massachusetts. Lawrence Kushner was born in 1943.

Lawrence Kushner has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Brief Introduction for Christians
  2. Early Childhood Sprituality
  3. Kushner

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( K ) > Kushner, Lawrence
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Jewish Life
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > General Interest > Other Religion > General

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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 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.

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