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Does the Soul Survive?


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Brian L. Weiss, MD Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Telepathy: A Window on the Soul's Survival 2. Near-Death Experiences (NDEs): The Literature 3. What Is Soul? 4. Survival of the Soul: Judaism's Views 5. What Happens After I Die? 6. Traditional Judaism on Resurrection of the Dead 7. Past-Life Regression: An Introduction 8. Training with Dr. Brian Weiss 9. Reincarnation: Judaism's Views 10. Tales of Reincarnation: The Role of the Rebbe 11. Mediums: Judaism's Position 12. Psychic Gifts of a Medium: James Van Praagh 13. Weighing the Evidence Discrepancies in Afterlife and Reincarnation Accounts 14. The Impact of Affirming the Soul's Survival 15. Cultivating the Soul Conclusion: Live Now Gratefully and Responsibly Appendix: Torah and Immortality of the Soul: A Hot Debate Notes Glossary Selected Bibliography Index

About the Author

Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz is the author of Healing from Despair: Choosing Wholeness in a Broken World and Does the Soul Survive? A Jewish Journey to Belief in Afterlife, Past Lives & Living with Purpose (both Jewish Lights). A spiritual leader and scholar specializing in topics of spirituality and Judaism, he teaches, writes and speaks to a wide range of audiences. He has served as the rabbi of Congregation B'nai Israel in Tustin, California, for more than a decade and is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly Committee of Law and Standards. Brian L. Weiss, MD, the nation's foremost expert on past-life regression therapy, is chairman emeritus of psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami.


Through his studies, his life experiences, and the stories he heard as a rabbi, Spitz (rabbi, Congregation B'nai Israel) came to believe that the soul exists after a person dies. He uses this book as a forum to discuss how he came to his beliefs and to investigate Judaism's teachings about the soul after death. He includes stories of people's near-death experiences, describes his own study, and summarizes what biblical, rabbinical, and mystic writings say to support his thesis. This introduction to the biblical writings and how the modern thinkers address this issue will interest people wanting to read a Jewish response the concept of a soul's existence after death. Students beginning their studies may also find this a useful resource. Recommended for public libraries that have collections supporting Judaism, the afterlife, near-death experiences, and popular psychology.DNaomi E. Hafter, Broward Cty. P.L., Ft. Lauderdale, FL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Spitz, a Conservative rabbi, sets out to convince readers that it's kosher to be Jewish and believe in reincarnation and the afterlife. He details his personal journey from skepticism to belief in the reality of the soul, distilling along the way the work of pioneering mediums like Brian Weiss and James van Draagh. Spitz discusses one seminar he attended in which he found himself revealing images of a previous life as a Native American, and another in which his wife's deceased grandparents "communicated" with her. Spitz employs an array of Jewish sourcesÄparticularly mystical textsÄthat affirm a faith in the survival of the soul, although the concept remains controversial in traditional Judaism. He claims that this faith can provide comfort to those struggling with death. "Letting go is easier when one believes death is not final," he says. He offers the personal example of coping with his mother's death, followed by dramatic instances of how he has used guided imagery to ease congregants into accepting death. While we are alive, our "homework assignment" is to nurture our souls through good deeds and to express gratitude to God, "rooting us more deeply in living this life each day as a precious gift." Spitz's compelling arguments may cement the beliefs of Jewish readers already receptive to the existence of the supernatural and open a doorway for doubters to reconceptualize life and death. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"Very worthwhile ... people do not know enough about the Jewish point of view on death and dying, and people need to know that reincarnation and afterlife is a fact. It's about time and the time is now. This is a brilliant book that keeps you fascinated." -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross "A wise, moving, carefully thought out and provocative first-person exploration into the immortality of the soul. Indispensable for anyone who has ever wondered about the mysteries of life before and after this one. A beautiful book." -Lawrence Kushner, rabbi-in-residence, Hebrew Union College; author, Invisible Lines of Connection: Sacred Stories of the Ordinary "Rabbi Spitz has taken our most profound human question and given us an exciting journey into religious, historical, and present-day answers.... This inspirational book shows us just how important living our purpose is." -Carol Adrienne, PhD, author, The Purpose of Your Life "His initial reticence to believe people's stories about life after death and past incarnations ... gives this book credibility even for skeptical philosophers like me.... Rabbi Spitz has me wondering!" -Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff, PhD, rector and professor of philosophy, University of Judaism

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