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 isralight.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.”