OVERRIDE

A New Kabbalah for Women

Perle Besserman

Palgrave Macmillan Trade

The red bracelet: it graces the wrists of numerous celebrities--from Madonna to Britney Spears--who have converted to Kabbalah. But what is Kabbalah and how can women apply it to their own lives? In A New Kabbalah for Women, bestselling author Perle Besserman shares a feminine approach to Kabbalah. Since the time of Moses, Jewish mysticism has been barred to women, and the feminine side of God has been forced underground. Now, many women are adapting traditional practices in radical new ways. Besserman is at the forefront of this revolution. Combining Kabbalistic practices with meditation and memoir, Besserman walks readers through step-by-step rituals to find their own personal connections to the divine.

REVIEWS

Praise for A New Kabbalah for Women

"From an early age Besserman rebelled against the idea, fostered in her ultra-Orthodox yeshiva (school), that 'Jewish women served God by having sons and being 'footstools' to their husbands in heaven after they died.' She didn't want to be anyone's footstool--she wanted to see God. Unfortunately, because she was female, those men with the answers refused to acknowledge, much less answer, her questions on spirituality and mysticism, leading her to seek answers in hatha yoga, Zen, the Bhagavad Gita and other Eastern texts, until she finally met a rabbi willing to teach her. Besserman has spent a lifetime honing, teaching and writing of a deep intrinsic spirituality that has gripped her soul from childhood--expertise that shines through in this step-by-step Kabbalah guide for women. She recognizes that for women to be empowered with a strong sense of self, they must overcome the illusions they've been fed of inferiority, as well as remember the 'Talmudic claim that the ways to Truth are as numerous and varied as human faces.' There is an everywoman quality to Besserman's quest--one that instills an instant camaraderie among women readers seeking spiritual answers, and that makes her meditations and suggested paths seem natural and intuitive. Don't judge this book by its pop iconic cover--it's thoughtful, insightful and deeply spiritual."--Publishers Weekly
"Perle Besserman is a wonderful story-teller in the best Jewish tradition; she writes beautifully, with a fine ability to integrate scholarly research with contemporary events, in a compelling and suspenseful narrative. As a Jewish woman and writer, I learned so much here about the Kabbalah that I've been eager to know. I read through the night, unable to put the book down..."--Kim Chernin, author of Seven Pillars of Jewish Denial and In My Mother's House
"While reading A New Kabbalah for Women, I have the feeling the book is reading me: Perle Besserman has a remarkable gift for understanding the concerns and conflicts of contemporary Jewish women and her book goes straight to the heart. This is the best introduction to Kabbalah I have ever read, and one of the most sensitive guides to developing a Jewish spiritual life."--Susannah Heschel, author of Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus
"A New Kabbalah for Women is refreshing, heartfelt and profoundly insightful. This book defines the 'next step' for both women and men who are seeking balance in their spiritual practice."--Rabbi Shoni Labowitz, author of Miraculous Living and God, Sex and Women of the Bible
"What a profound gift Ms. Besserman has given us. She describes the journey back to the divine feminine, back to ourselves. I was brought up Southern Baptist, so I found the specifics of Judiasm and the Kabbalah fascinating. However, what spoke to me more was the universal journey of innocently buying in, questioning, rejecting, exploring other paths and finally being called back home to the truth of the Spirit which was always there, hiding under the heavy coat pile of other people's interpretation. Ms. Besserman reminds us that it is through direct experience in the body that we women know God in ourselves."--Robin Carnes, co-author of Sacred Circles: A Guide to Creating Women's Spirituality Groups
"A New Kabbalah for Women is an enlightening and practical guide for any woman who wants to discover and connect to her Sacred Self. Perle Besserman wins our trust by combining scholarly research, lively personal accounts of her own journey, and simple meditation exercises. Even before you reach the end you'll want to sit on a cushion and experience the magic for yourself."--Nancy O'Hara, author of Find a Quiet Corner; Just Listen; and Serenity in Motion

Praise for Besserman's earlier work:
"If you have need of just one book on the topic of Kabbalah, this is an excellent choice."--Booklist
"A spiritual path open to regular folks."--Utne Reader
"Explains the Kabbalah with as much clarity as it can be explained and with a genuine feeling for mystic lore. I recommend it to all readers."--Isaac Bashevis Singer

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Perle Besserman

  • Perle Besserman is the author of several classics on Jewish mysticism, women spirituality, and Zen, including Kabbalah: The Way of the Jewish Mystic, Teachings of the Jewish Mystics, and Owning It: Zen and the Art of Facing Life. She has written for The Village Voice, Lilith, East West, and is also known for her short fiction.
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Available Formats and Book Details

A New Kabbalah for Women

Perle Besserman

  • Trade Paperback

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