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Friday, August 04, 2006

Jewish Meditation 101

If you are interested in learning about Jewish Meditation, I recommend:
Ribner, Melinda (Mindy);
Everyday Kabbalah: A Practical Guide to Jewish Meditation, Healing, and Personal Growth;
(New York: Citadel Press; Kensington Publishing Corp.,
1998); ISBN 0-8065-1980-0.

I quote from the publisher's puff about Mindy: "Melinda Ribner, C.S.W., is the Director and Founder of the Jewish Meditation Circle. . . . Melinda, also known as Mindy, received a nonrabbinical ordination to teach Jewish meditation from the legendary Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach that was witnessed by Rabbi Yidel Stein and Rabbi Dr. Seymour Applebaum, both of whom are Orthodox rabbis. Additionally, she is a certified social worker and a psychotherapist in private practice and at a psychiatric clinic, where she uses meditation as a treatment modality.

Mindy's book is practical, straightforward, and humble. All meditative traditions in the world of which I am aware begin in the same way: learn to breathe. In Jewish Meditation, meditation, like our human lives, begins and ends with breath. A key word in Judaism is ruach; in a religious context, ruach is often rendered into English as "spirit" or "Spirit". In a more literal translation, the word means simply breath.

People who become interested in Kabbalah and are not safely wrapped in an Orthodox Jewish community, especially native speakers of English, sometimes become fascinated with the complexities of Jewish Meditation. Rather than cater to this fascination, Mindy takes a simple, straightforward approach. I was fortunate enough to meet
Reb Goldie Milgram. She has been kind enough to undertake my spiritual direction. She it was who recommended this book to me.

If you have any comments about Mindy's book or about Reb Goldie's website, I would appreciate your sharing them in this blog.

A Poem Honoring The Eightieth Anniversary Of The Birth Of Leonard (Len) S. Oppenheimer On The Tenth Of July In The Year 2006 Of The Common Era