The Book of Words: Talking Spiritual Life, Living Spiritual Talk

The Book of Words: Talking Spiritual Life, Living Spiritual Talk

by Lawrence Kushner

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Overview

"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.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781580235952
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 04/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 160
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

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 Life

Click here to contact the author.

Read an Excerpt

http://longhillpartners.onixsuite.com/resources/titles/50113100940990/extras/Book_of_Words-Table_of_Contents.pdf

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION....................................................................111. / AMNESIA / Unio Mysticia.................................152. / AWAKENING / Blessing.......................................193. / BEING / The Sabbath Day .....................................234. / BREATHING / The Name of God .........................275. / COMING HOME / Repentance........................316. / DUES / Sacrifices ......................................................357. / EXCHANGE / Redemption ..................................398. / FAMILY / Israel........................................................439. / FREEDOM / Supervision......................................4710. / GARBAGE / Gossip .............................................5111. / IMAGERY / Idolatry..........................................5512. / INTEGRITY / Sincerity .............................................5913. / LAUGHTER / Ecstasy........................................6314. / LIFE / Story.................................................................6715. / LOVE / One....................................................................7116. / MONEY / Charity.....................................................7517. / POISON / Grudge ....................................................7918. / POLITICS / Repair ......................................................8319. / REMEMBERING / Order .....................................8720. / RESPONSE / Divine Commandment .................9121. / SCRIPT / Prayer........................................................9522. / SECRECY / Faith .....................................................9923. / SELF / Soul ...............................................................10324. / TABLE / Altar...........................................................10725. / TERROR / Life..........................................................11126. / VISION / Truth .......................................................11527. / WATER / Purity .....................................................11928. / THE WAY / The Law.............................................12329. / YEAST / The Evil Urge......................................12730. / YOURSELF / Messiah .........................................131SOURCES........................................................135

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