This intimate guided tour of early Hasidism and Hasidic storytelling gives readers an opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of Hasidic wisdom. In A Heart Afire, the teachings and tales of old-world Hasidism are richly enhanced by the enlightening insights, interpretations, and personal reflections of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shaolmi, a modern-day Hasidic master and founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, and his disciple Netanel Miles-Yepez, a scholar of comparative religion. Together they add a deeply meaningful dimension to these stories and a facile bridge between old and new interpretations of them. A Heart Afire explores many of the lesser-known stories and teachings of the first three generations of Hasidism, especially those of the Ba’al Shem Tov, his heirs (male and female), and the students of his successor, the Maggid of Mezritch. Readers get a rare introduction to some of the more radical teachings of these popular Hasidic masters, and insights that connect them to the ecological, ecumenical, and feminist values of the modern world. Enlightening and spiritually uplifting, A Heart Afire reveals surprising relevancy today in cherished Hasidic wisdom and narrative of the past.
–Zalman Schacter-Shalomi was the founder of the Jewish Renewal Movement and one of the foremost authorities on Kabbalah and Hasidism. Professor emeritus of the psychology of religion and Jewish mysticism at Temple University and the World Wisdom Chair holder at Naropa — Netanel Miles-Yepez is an artist and religious scholar. Born into a Mexican-American family, in his late teens, Miles-Yepez discovered his family's hidden Jewish roots and began to explore Judaism and other religions seriously. He teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at Naropa .
–Arthur Green is an American scholar of Jewish mysticism and Neo-Hasidism. He is a professor in the non-denominational rabbinical program at Hebrew College in Boston. He was president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1987-1993.
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