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Title: The Art Of Amazement

Friday, June 27th, 2003

Title: The Art Of Amazement
Author: Alexander Seinfeld
Publisher: Daas Books


Hear Deeply
Strugglers with the Infinite
Oh, Infinite, What Was, What Is and Whatever Will Be
Our Power in the natural world
Infinite, What Was, What Is and Whatever Will B
One, Absolute Oneness, Perfect Unity.

It sounds like a meditative mantra from some Eastern religion and it is. It is commanding, focused, disciplined. “Meditation is the practice of disciplining [a] natural function (focusing and refocusing),” writes Alexander Seinfeld in The Art of Amazement, and, he insists, “…it was arguably the core concept of Jewish practice” in ancient Judaism.” These are the fundamental lessons of Seinfeld’s The Art of Amazement, a captivating new book about the thousands-year old practice of Jewish meditation.

Daas Books in Palo Alto, California just released the softcover book with an eye to helping Jewish educational institutions teach their pupils how to be amazed, able to gain quantum insights, into prayer and its Object. In an era when Jews have been leaving the fold to join other religions in a quest to seek spirituality, to unmask reality as we witness it in the ordinary day, The Art of Amazement is an enticing tool for exceeding the accomplishments of the Eastern gurus.

The moral bankruptcy of many allegedly spiritual masters, whose hedonism fills headlines with their excesses, is the antithesis of the “Jewish Pleasure Principle” indicates page 56 of this book. Judaism is a system of receiving goodness and pleasure, for cultivating pleasure in fact! We learn on page 57 that the very first mitzva was to eat from every tree (Bereishis 2:16). Page 58 reveals that Jewish tradition “àconsiders it an obligation to enjoy life’s pleasures.” The key to not falling prey to self-centered, aphorism-chanting counterfeiters of spiritual experience? Seinfeld teaches that it is “àto discern between aesthetic and physical pleasure.” The purpose of an ecstatic, soulful experience in Judaism serves as a means of thinking outside one’s limited reality in order to attain ever-increasing levels of morality. Such has been the secret to the successes of tzadikim. Jewish meditative thinking that does not negate reality, but rather promotes focused mindfulness, intelligent discourse and virtue.

Designed as a textbook and workbook for teachers and students, “The Art of Amazement” takes you to a stop-you-in-your-tracks-speechless-jaw droppingly-awe inspiring transcendental reality: revealing G-d’s manifestation. Even Avraham Avinu used these methods.

A kosher system for achieving transcendental experiences, Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo insists on the book’s cover that “This book is a tremendous resource for anyone concerned with Jewish education, whether professionally, in the family, or for themselves.” Readers can go to www.daasbooks.com to learn more about Jewish spirituality and The Art of Amazement.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/title-the-art-of-amazement/2003/06/27/

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