Acknowledgments. Introduction. The Night Fear. The Benefits. Using this Book. Questions to Keep in Mind. PART ONE: THE WAY OF KABBALAH. Chapter 1: Creating Fulfillment. Chapter 2: Kabbalah through the Ages. Chapter 3: The Light and the Vessel. PART TWO: GETTING READY FOR THE LIGHT. Chapter 4: The Work of Living. Chapter 5: Building a Relationship with the Creator. Chapter 6: The Twelve Spiritual Laws of the Way. PART THREE: SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION. Chapter 7: Understanding Our Thoughts and Feelings. Chapter 8: Using the Spiritual Tools.Chapter 9: Sharing the Way. Glossary. Bibliography and Sources for Further Reading. Index.
RABBI MICHAEL BERG is one of the key figures at The Kabbalah Centre, which has branches in many countries and a Web site, kabbalah.com. As part of his life's work dedicated to bringing kabbalistic wisdom to the forefront, he has just completed the monumental task of editing and producing the first-ever English translation and commentary of the Zohar, the comprehensive text of Kabbalah. He regularly presents lectures and seminars all around the world.
Berg, the editor-in-chief of Kabbalah magazine, offers a readable introduction into what he claims is the universal mystical tradition. The Kabbalah is replete with modern analogies (even Vince Lombardi!) and is written in an intelligent style expressly designed to appeal to the broadest possible audience. However, Berg overreaches with the claim that "Kabbalah is the birthright of all humanity. It does not belong to any religion or ethnic group." Unless God desires everyone to be Jewish (which Judaism has always rejected), it is disingenuous to say that "The Way" is "for literally everyone in the world" and then proceed to refer exclusively to Jewish texts, prayers, heroes and holidays and the mysterious power of Hebrew and Hebrew alone. Berg's "way" has much in common with other mystical traditions, particularly reincarnation and meditation. "Love thy neighbor" may be "the secret of living in accordance with Kabbalah," but it is hardly a monopoly. Ironically, the path outlined here is reminiscent of St. Paul's ancient Christian missions to the pagans. St. Paul eliminated Jewish ritual observance and made the religion palatable to the uninitiated winning countless converts to a new tradition, but alienating observant Jews. Characterizing the Sabbath as "one day just to sit back and cruise, if that's what we really want to do" may win the hearts of Santana and Madonna, but it will likely leave serious Jewish mystics cringing. (Sept. 7) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.