A Bibliography of Earth-Based Judaism

A Bibliography of Earth-Based Judaism

Amichai, Yehuda. Open Closed Open. Trans. Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld. New York: Harcourt, 2000.

The prayerful, irreverent, text- and nature-based poetry of the man known as Israel’s poet laureate Yehuda Amichai yields many treasures for Jews searching for moving, quirky imagery related to the earth, the human, and the “here.”

Bernstein, Ellen (ed.). Ecology and the Jewish Spirit: Where Nature and the Sacred Meet. Jewish Lights, 2000.

A variety of essays on Judaism and environmentalism, covering traditional sources, modern ecological questions, and new approaches to nature and the sacred.

Berrin, Susan (ed.). Celebrating the New Moon: A Rosh Chodesh Anthology. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1996.

An exploration of texts and creative ritual around the Jewish festival of the new moon.

Elon, Ari, Hyman, Naomi, and Waskow, Arthur. Trees, Earth, and Torah: A Tu B’Shevat Anthology. Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society, 2003.

A comprehensive anthology on trees and Jewish tree celebrations including multiple perspectives on Judaism and the earth.

Falk, Marcia. The Book of Blessings. Boston: Beacon Press, 1999.

This volume of new liturgy for the weekday, Sabbath, and new moon views the Divine as part of nature.

Gottlieb, Lynn. She Who Dwells Within: A Feminist Revision of a Renewed Judaism. San Francisco, Harper SanFrancisco, 1995.

This woman spiritualist’s quest to find the Shekhinah/the Goddess within Jewish lore and practice contains innovative earth-based legends and rituals.

Johnson, Cait. Earth, Water, Fire and Air: Essential Ways of Connecting to Spirit. Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths, 2003.

This is not a Jewish book, but the author examines Jewish rituals, among others, as she explores the role of the four elements in spirituality. The meditation exercises Johnson offers are powerful.

Patai, Raphael. The Hebrew Goddess. 3rd ed. Wayne State University Press, 1990.

A classic volume examining the sources across time that deal with the Jewish concept of the Divine feminine, and polytheistic influences on Judaism, from the goddess Asherah to the kabbalists’ Shekhinah.

Ostriker, Alicia. The Nakedness of the Fathers: Biblical Visions and Revisions. Rutgers, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1994.

This volume creatively dialogues with biblical texts using poem and story. Ostriker explores tensions between male and female, justice and compassion, pagan and Jewish, belief and unbelief, and ends with a spectacular meditation on the transformation of God.

Piercy, Marge. The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme. Knopf, 2000.

This is a beautiful volume of spiritual poetry, often Jewish liturgical poetry, with rich, earthy imagery.

Ribner, Melinda. Kabbalah Month by Month: A Year of Spiritual Practice and Personal Transformation. Jossey-Bass, 2002.

This book offers a treasury of Jewish teachings about the months and reflects on each month’s nature.

Rutterberg, Danya (ed.). Yentl’s Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism. Seattle, WA: Seal Press, 2001.

This anthology by young Jewish women includes reflections on the Goddess and on Jews who practice Wicca.

Schachter-Shalomi, Zalman. Paradigm Shift. Jason Aronson, 1993.

One of the seminal works of Jewish renewal, this book describes the spiritual journey of Reb Zalman and discusses interfaith relations as well as new approaches to the spirit.

Schwartz, Howard and Rudolf, Anthony (eds.). Voices Within the Ark: The Modern Jewish Poets. New York: Avon Books, 1980.

This amazing multicultural collection of Jewish poetry, past and present, contains poems that are wondrous in their mythic invention and make great liturgy.

Waskow, Arthur. Seasons of Our Joy. Boston: Beacon Press, 1991.

A classic work on the Jewish festival calendar that discusses the seasonal placement of each holiday and its wider context within Near Eastern myth, as well as fascinating Jewish sources on each festival season.

Waskow, Arthur and Berman, Phyllis. A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven. New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux (2002).

A new approach to life-cycle events, using a four-worlds structure.

Winkler, Gershon. Magic of the Ordinary: Recovering the Shamanic in Judaism. North Atlantic Books, 2003.

Winkler, a rabbi learned in Jewish sources, has also studied with Native American healers. In this book, he traces his spiritual journey and relates the many connections he has found between Jewish religion and Native American teachings. His reflections on the Jewish meanings of the months, winds, and directions are particuarly enlightening.

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