Because My Soul Longs for You: Integrating Theology into Our Lives

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ISBN: 978-0-88123-372-8

Edited by Rabbi Edwin C. Goldberg and Rabbi Elaine S. Zecher
Historical introduction by Rabbi Joseph A. Skloot, PhD

Because My Soul Longs for You seeks to answer one of the most enduring human questions: Where can we find God in our lives? While Jewish theologians have long pondered the "God question" from ethical and philosophical perspectives, the last century has made space for a more experiential theology: God is present in our lived experiences. Radical amazement, to use Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel's phrase, can be found in everyday life. Contributors to this volume share how they welcome God's presence into their lives, as well as the theological language they use to think and speak about this presence. Chapters explore how we experience God through prayer, text study, poetry, food, music, service, movement, meditation, interpersonal connection, and much more.

FINALIST: Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year Award (Religion category)
Silver medal: Independent Publisher Book Awards (Inspirational/Spiritual category)
FINALIST: Next Generation Indie Book Awards (Spirituality category)

Table of Contents
Read the Introduction
Study and Discussion Guide - Free Download

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"Instead of asking 'Do you believe in God?' Rabbis Elaine Zecher and Edwin Goldberg ask the more fruitful 'How do you experience God?' Their book compiles the transformative experiences of twenty souls who share their encounter with the Divine. Through their stories, we access new language for understanding how we might discover God in our lives, and perhaps realize that God has been with us all along."
-Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, Senior Rabbi, Central Synagogue, NYC

"Most everyone knows that 600,000 Jews left Egypt and 600,000 Torahs were received at Sinai. But as Rabbis Goldberg and Zecher remind us, each Jew seems to have found their own God too! What an obvious and splendid idea: to ask rabbis and other "soul-teachers" to share their experiences of the numinous and then arrange them into a bouquet. Surely this is where liberal Jewish theology in the twenty-first century must begin."
-Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, author of Kabbalah: A Love Story

"This book is not only phenomenal, it is also phenomenological--it relates to the ways in which God is experienced rather than simply conceptualized. These highly reflective and courageous essays evoke the biblical image of a graceful animal thirsting for water at the brook. So the soul longs for God, experienced in various life situations and described with both beauty and honesty. Because My Soul Longs for You places the soul where it belongs--in the lives and experiences of persons."
-Rabbi Dr. Michael Marmur, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Jerusalem

"This is a book that will inspire and engage anyone who wants to ignite their soul and bring a spark to their spiritual life."
-Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins, coeditor of Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul

"This book invited me to journey into my own n'shamah and my own truth from a new vista. ... Kudos to Rabbis Zecher and Goldberg for this fine compilation. ... I was thrilled to see that the majority of chapters were written by women. And the poetic beauty of each chapter ending with a creative blessing brought the spiritual into each narrative. Each chapter holds stirring applications for teaching, discussion, and personal reflection."
--Rabbi Jessica Kessler Marshall

"Each thought-provoking essay shares a personal reflection on how we may connect to God 'most often in the midst of ordinary life,' perhaps through powerful experiences, but more often through unexpected moments or seemingly mundane encounters. Even so, editors Goldberg and Zecher remind us that nurturing a deeper theology will take work. To support our spiritual journey, they conclude by offering readers questions to consider as they start their search for God."
--Jonathan Fass, The Jewish Education Project of New York

"Erudite and thought-provoking, exceptionally well organized and presented, Because My Soul Longs for You: Integrating Theology into Our Lives is a welcome and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, synagogue, college, and university library Judaic Studies collections and supplemental curriculum lists."
--- James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review

"The major contribution of the book is its premise that each of these various approaches is an authentic spiritual expression and that each of us must discover for ourselves our personal approach to deepening the experience of feeling the One's presence in our lives. It is very meaningful to read about the experiences the authors have had and their descriptions of finding the One in their lives through following both traditional and untraditional religious behaviors to express a connection to the divine."
--- Stephen G. Donshik, The Jerusalem Post

ISBN 978-0-88123-372-8
Copyright © 2021
6" x 9"
Page count: 240