Teachers of the Kabbalah, that ancient treasure trove of Jewish mysticism, have written many books about the cosmic significance of the Tree of Life. Rabbi Shoni Labowitz, a leader in the Jewish Renewal movement, offers her buoyant, transformative, ethical, and inspiring interpretation. The book is organized around the Ten Heavenly Gates Intention, Wisdom, Understanding, Compassion, Strength, Harmony, Success, Glory, Creativity, and Nobility. "The tree that grew in Eden," writes the author, "is a divine model of the pattern by which we too can live our lives."
Labowitz celebrates the sacredness of the soul, our partnership with God in the ongoing creation of the world, and our calling to be miracle-workers. Although some of this material gets pretty abstract, the author constantly spices up the proceedings with Hasidic stories, Taoist teachings, and practical tips. Rabbi Labowitz is to be commended for this serious effort at reinterpreting the Kabbalistic Way.