Terry Bookman is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth Am in Miami, Florida, and the co-founder of Eitzah, the Center for Congregational Leadership. He is the author of The Busy Soul and God 101. In this fine paperback, he ponders the significance of the Torah as "a psychospiritual mirror to the soul, a dialectic, asking all the right questions about what it means to live a life of meaning, depth, and consciousness while challenging each of us to respond with our lives."
The book covers five stages of spiritual growth with material on Beginnings, Commitment, Intimacy, Wanderings and Acceptance. There are 120 entries - a number that suggests fulfillment not completion. He states: "Each of us, you and I, are on a journey called life. And it is our job, our sacred task, to accompany and support one another, to carry each other's bags and burdens, to lighten one another's loads. We can do that with a word, a hug, by showing up even when no one asks, by answering the call. We can do that just by being good at what we do, loving and caring, open and whole-hearted." Bookman is a gifted teacher whose meditations range far and wide, from a sagacious commentary on gossip, to Judaism's stance that the ego cannot be squashed, to the value of the wounds we carry. Here is a sample of his versatility and wisdom:
"When do we 'see' God? I see the Holy One in the faces of those who surround me, each unique yet sharing in our common humanity and striving after God. I see God in the miracles of nature, each day a surprise bringing awe and wonder. I see God in these words, which you are now reading, appearing on my computer screen, coming from somewhere inside my head, a gift of mind. I see God in my children, the greatest gift I have ever known, who bless me each and every day. I sense the glory of God in my love for my wife, my life partner and soul mate. I even see God in life's ugliness and tragedy, which call on us to be even more human as we repair the brokenness and pain.
"Where does God appear? Wherever and whenever we make room and open our eyes."