Liv­ing a Joy­ous Life: The True Spir­it of Jew­ish Practice

Rab­bi David Aaron
  • Review
By – February 24, 2012

Count­less Jews are dis­con­nect­ed from their reli­gion. And those who seek a way back in often find them­selves bogged down with the bag­gage of their past neg­a­tive expe­ri­ences. It’s hard for peo­ple to imag­ine just how much Jew­ish bag­gage they real­ly have,” asserts author Rab­bi David Aaron. Past expe­ri­ences, images, and def­i­n­i­tions sti­fle their abil­i­ty to real­ly under­stand the true mean­ing of their her­itage, he writes. To unpack this bag­gage is the first step to spir­i­tu­al growth.” 

This book pro­vides a decid­ed­ly Ortho­dox frame­work designed to help read­ers lib­er­ate them­selves from what­ev­er is hold­ing them back from feel­ing clos­er to God through Torah study, prayer, Shab­bat obser­vance, and keep­ing kosher.

The book, which occa­sion­al­ly ram­bles, is sprin­kled with inter­est­ing Has­sidic sto­ries, bits of Jew­ish mys­ti­cism and Midrash, and lots of anec­dotes. It has mer­it but offers lit­tle to set it apart from oth­er books preach­ing ways to live a more spir­i­tu­al, mean­ing­ful Jew­ish life. 

The author, a rab­bi liv­ing in Jerusalem, is a lec­tur­er and the founder and dean of isra​light​.org, which is ded­i­cat­ed to inspir­ing a renais­sance in Jew­ish liv­ing” through edu­ca­tion. The home page of its Web site greets vis­i­tors with a giant blue but­ton that says Click here to donate.”

Robin K. Levin­son is an award-win­ning jour­nal­ist and author of a dozen books, includ­ing the Gali Girls series of Jew­ish his­tor­i­cal fic­tion for chil­dren. She cur­rent­ly works as an assess­ment spe­cial­ist for a glob­al edu­ca­tion­al test­ing orga­ni­za­tion. She lives in Hamil­ton, NJ.

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