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A Teaching Story from This Is for Everyone: Universal Principles of Healing Prayer and the Jewish Mystics by Rabbi Douglas Goldhamer and Melinda Stengel

Here's a book of meditation strategies that can be used by everyone to deepen their spiritual life and to stay healthy. One of the key ingredients is joy, a spiritual practice cultivated by the legendary Hasidic leader, the Baal Shem Tov, know as "the Besht."

"Several Hasidim came to the Besht and said, 'Our opponents, the Sages of Brody, persecute us continually and accuse us, heaven forbid, of disobedience to the Law and irreverence toward the traditions of our forefathers. We can endure it no longer, and we must answer them.'

" 'Our adversaries,' replied the Besht, 'do this certainly out of pious zeal. They believe they are performing a good deed, and they take joy in oppressing us. Why should we seek to deprive them of their joy?' "

To Practice: This one is particularly recommended for liberal and progressive religious believers who find themselves under attack from conservatives and fundamentalists. Instead of counterattacking or dismissing them entirely, find a more healing and healthy way to view those who have very different views from your own.


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