Jewish Meditation: A New Religious Hybrid or Ancient Jewish Form (and why all the fuss?)

1. Overview and Teaching Guide. Download

2. Background Reading. 

a. Davis, Avram. 1999. “Getting our Bearings,” The Way of the Flame: A Guide to the Forgotten Mystical Tradition of Jewish Meditation. Vermont: Jewish Lights Publishers, p. 15-37. 

b. Lew, Alan. 1999. “It Doesn’t Matter What You Call It: If It Works, It Works,” In Meditation from the Heart of Judaism, Ed. Avram Davis. Vermont: Jewish Lights Publishers, p. 43-52. 

c. Cooper, David. A. 2000. “Introduction,” In The Handbook of Jewish Meditation Practices, Ed. Vermont: Jewish Lights Publishers. 

d. Ellertson, Kristin 2009. “Is Meditation a Mitzvah?” Schmooze Online. October 7. View. 

3. Class Exercises and Discussion. 

a. “Document A: Buddhism as Destructive to Judaism.” Download

i. Davis, Avram. 1999. “Best Practices: A Distillation of Techniques and Outlook,” In Meditation from the Heart of Judaism, Ed. Avram Davis. Vermont: Jewish Lights Publishers, p. 217-228. 

ii. This video shows Rabbi Avraham Arieh Trugman, the Director of Ohr Chadash, discussing the history of Jewish meditation. He  thinks about Jewish meditation similarly to Rabbi Davis. View.  

b. “Document B: Buddhism Enhances Judaism.” Download.

i. Articles

1. Weinberg, Sheila Peltz. 2012. Surprisingly Happy. An Atypical Religious Memoir. White River Press. p. 83-87. 

2. Weinberg, Sheila Peltz. 1999. “Meditating as a Practicing Jew,” In Avram Davis. The Way of the Flame: A Guide to the Forgotten Mystical Tradition of Jewish Meditation. Vermont: Jewish Lights Publishers, p. 139-148. 

3.  Weinberg, Sheila Peltz.  Torah through the Lens of Mindfulness Practice. Unpublished document written for the Institute for Jewish Spirituality's Jewish Meditation Teacher Training.

4.  Weinberg, Sheila Peltz.  Interview Excerpts.

ii. Videos

1. Mindfulness Practice and the Jewish Year by Rabbi Sheila Weinberg. View. 

2.  Introduction to Contemplative Jewish Prayer by Rabbi Jeff Roth. View. 

Please contact esigalow@brandeis.edu for copies of the published materials.