Wednesday 4 April 2007

Kabbalah 365, Daily Fruit from the Tree of Life by Gershon Winkler

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPublished by Andrews McMeel Publishing.

In this book, Gershon Winkler, a longtime practitioner and interpreter of the Kabbalah, brings us a wonderful and inspirational collection of valuable life teachings that are sourced from rare Kabbalistic writings and oral traditions. These messages which give much food for thought are offered over 365 days and the book also has an index at the back so you can find the days which contain the subject you wish to focus on for that moment.

I read through this in a couple of days as I wanted to be able to write the review based on the whole book but I will be using it in the way it is intended also, as each daily message deserves a lot more focus than I could give over a couple of minutes.

This book is a great first step for anyone who is interested in the Kabbalah and while my understanding is that it is primarily Jewish, I can understand why many people from all walks of life, and all religions, are turning to this piece of wisdom. There are so many important lessons in this text and many of the messages that spoke to me, were of being kind to those around us, showing compassion and so on. In short, focussing on things which in this day and age seem to have been forgotten.

This book is a brilliant reminder of just how small, yet precious, each of us is.

I loved so many of these messages but my favourites had to be:

So long as the petals of the rose are folded shut, she has no aroma and does not rise above the thorns. But when she opens her petals, she gives forth aroma and stands out above the thorns. Likewise, so long as our hearts are closed and we are not open to turning our lives around, our auras lack luster and we fade into oblivion. But when we open ourselves up to turning our lives around, we sparkle and we rise above the mediocre and transcend painfulness. -- Sefer Ha'Zohar, Vol 4, folio 232b.
All kisses that are inspired by love wield the power to join the two in total oneness without any quality of seperateness. These kinds of kisses merge one with the other, merge universes with universes, forging all diversity into total unity, so that all becomes one. -- Zohar Chadash 63:4
Why in the beginning was the human created singular? To demonstrate the preciousness of the human, that destroying a single human being would be akin to destroying an entire world, and saving a single human would be akin to saving an entire world. --Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 38a
These are just three of the 365 messages found within this book. Whatever your beliefs are, I believe that no-one who reads this book could fail to come away from it feeling more enlightened. For me, it spoke volumes and it's a book I will be referencing often.

Gershon Winkler is a co-founder and executive director of the Walking Stick Foundation. Learn more here

No comments: