web analytics
February 28, 2015 / 9 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Title: Stages of Spiritual Growth


Title: Stages of Spiritual Growth


Author: Batya Gallant


Publisher: Urim Publishing


 


  


   For today’s Jew seeking to grow spiritually, there’s mussar, and then there is modern psychology. Armed with 20th century research on how behaviors develop and how humans create internal change, today’s Jewish do-gooder has an arsenal of tools beyond Pirkei Avos and the mussar masters to work on problems like, say, gossiping or overeating.

 

   Many frum authors, notably Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski and Miriam Adahan, have blended mussar and modern psychology in their works.

 

   Now, a new book takes this genre a step deeper – offering a serious and comprehensive approach to self-growth that includes deep Torah concepts, mussar applications and proven psychological realities.

 

   Stages of Spiritual Growth: Resolving the Tension Between Self-expression and Submission to Divine Will, authored by Jerusalem-based teacher Batya Gallant, reads like a thoughtful, insightful class lecture, and is meant to be a manual for honing one’s spiritual essence throughout the decades of one’s life.

 

   Gallant uses the text from an essay by R’ Tzadok Hakohen of Lublin (1823-1900) to develop a lifelong Torah-oriented approach towards spiritual growth for the reader, using her background in psychology to add insight, depth and practical applications.

 

   The thesis of the book, drawn from R’ Tzadok’s essay, posits that spiritual growth follows a predictable sequence through the primary middos of chesed, gevurah and emes, roughly translated as loving-kindness, strict authority and truth/integrity, respectively.

 

   Gallant explores the deeper meanings of these traits as well as the different levels inherent in each one and ways for individuals to master them. She also explains how people have natural orientations to different traits and how various stages of life are more amenable to growing in one trait than another.

 

   The section on gevurah, for example, notes the natural sequence of accepting and submitting to authority: a child first accepts authority from his parents, teachers and society. As he matures and moves forward on the gevurah-spectrum, he begins to take responsibility for his decisions and choices, and, hopefully, finds the courage to submit to G-d as the absolute authority.

 

   However, if the individual is stymied by fear of responsibility, he will refuse to choose his own values and think for himself. Thus, this person will never be able to free himself from the dictates of society and make his own choices, which is a prerequisite to submitting to the authority of G-d.

 

   “R. Tzadok’s essay gives the work structure, but I did not study his essay and then decide to explore it in depth,” says Gallant, in describing how the book came to be. “Instead, I came across R. Tzadok’s essay after years of studying the Torah perspective on spiritual growth. R. Tzadok’s essay provided me with a framework that integrated all I had previously studied about chesed, gevurah and emes.

 

   “My perception that this book needed to be written stemmed from my feeling that others were searching for the same clarity that I myself wanted: an understanding of spiritual growth as a task that is assigned to every human being on the one hand predictable and structured, yet on the other hand flexible enough to incorporate one’s individual path.”

 

   Gallant had taught much of the material in Stages of Spiritual Growth to students at the Darchei Bina Women’s School for Advanced Torah Studies in Jerusalem, as well as other classes and forums, and says her students have found that the blend of psychology, mussar and Torah-philosophy yields a very satisfying feeling of comprehensiveness.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Title: Stages of Spiritual Growth”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
18,000 Iranian Centrifuges
Reducing Iran’s Number of Centrifuges Makes a Bomb More Likely
Latest Sections Stories
Niehaus-022715

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

Mendlowitz-022715-Basket

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Astaire-022715-Countryside

One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.

South-Florida-logo

Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.

The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…

The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.

It captures the love of the Jewish soul as only Shlomo Hamelech could portray it – and as only Rabbi Miller could explain it.

Erudite and academic, drawing from ancient and modern sources, the book can be discussed at the Shabbos table as well as in kollel.

I’m here to sit next to you and help you through this Purim with three almost-too-easy mishloach manot ideas, all made with cost-conscious paper bags.

Kids want to be like their friends, and they want to give and get “normal” mishloach manos stocked with store-bought treats.

Whenever he did anything loving for me, I made a big deal about it.

“OMG, it’s so cute, you’re so cute, everything is so cute.”

A program that started with a handful of volunteers has grown exponentially to include students from a wider array of backgrounds.

Tutor. Counselor. The doctor too,
Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with you.

More Articles from Rachel Wizenfeld
Wizenfeld-032213-Birthing

Having a baby today is all about making decisions. Which doctor to go to. Which hospital to deliver at. What are your health concerns. Do you want to go natural. Do you want convenience. Where is your insurance accepted. Which hospital has the best reputation. Etc., etc., etc.

book-cooking-w-o-measuring

There are two primary forms of measuring when it comes to cooking, and our goal is to wean you away from both of them to the greatest extent possible. (There is also a third form of measuring, but doing without it can be risky and, based on my own disaster-stories, I don’t advise it.)

Like clockwork, the question of school vouchers makes a prominent appearance whenever the media focus on a statewide election in New York, particularly one in a heavily Orthodox district. The latest chime was sounded during the battle between Lew Fidler and David Storobin to fill an open state senate seat; both promised constituents that they would make the fight for vouchers and tax education credits their priority.

For today’s Jew seeking to grow spiritually, there’s mussar, and then there is modern psychology. Armed with 20th century research on how behaviors develop and how humans create internal change, today’s Jewish do-gooder has an arsenal of tools beyond Pirkei Avos and the mussar masters to work on problems like, say, gossiping or overeating.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/book-reviews/title-stages-of-spiritual-growth-2/2011/09/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: