World Religions & Interfaith

From Tiberias, with Love: A Collection of Tiberian Hasidism, Volume 1: R. Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk

Aubrey L Glazer, Nehemia Polen
Aubrey L. Glazer, Nehemia Polen


From Tiberias With Love is a journey to rediscovering the magic and mystery, the intimacy and depth of a lost moment in the history of a remarkably relevant, conscious community in the Galilee that still has much to teach us.

In the year 1777, a group of spiritual seekers from Eastern Europe set sail in search of a promised land, far away from the internal and external conflicts plaguing those souls seeking the infinite within this finite world. Weathering challenges both socio-economic and geographic, this emigrating group sought to establish a center for a burgeoning hasidic ethos that would radiate to the Diaspora from its renewed center in the Holy Land in Palestine.

Tiberean Hasidism provides a model of an intensive contemplative life that is particularly appealing to contemporary spiritual seekers for many reasons, including: its deep focus on mystical theology, devotional practice, and the ecstasy of deep friendship rather than allegiance to an institutionalized religion.

This neglected field of spiritual life remains ripe for excavation, with great insight and inspiration ahead as in the unfolding of this project. The theology, devotion, and social structure offer an authentic roadmap to future contemplative pathways ripe for our age.

WATCH an online discussion with Aubrey Glazer & Nehemia Polen discussing the inaugural volume ‘From Tiberias, With Love’ and exploring the history of the hasidic community in the Galilee. (Facebook Sunday, April 12)

Product Description

R. Aubrey L. Glazer‘s most recent books include: A New Physiognomy of Jewish Thinking: Critical Theory After Adorno as Applied to Jewish Thought and Contemporary Hebrew Mystical Poetry: How It Redeems Jewish Thinking.

Nehemia Polen, professor of Jewish Thought and director of the Hasidic Text Institute at Hebrew College, is a leading expert in Hasidism and Jewish thought.

Extended Biographies:

R. Aubrey L. Glazer received his Ph.D. in Hebrew Hermeneutics from the University of Toronto. During his studies he immersed himself in the philosophical work of Emmanuel Levinas and the Talmud under the direction of Dr. Robert Gibbs. This intellectual background informed Glazer’s work across academic forums on Jewish philosophy in relation to spirituality, mysticism, and aesthetics. Now an independent scholar, Glazer’s efforts focus on serving the broader Jewish community by incorporating Jewish Mysticism and Hebrew Poetry into theological and academic conversations regarding contemporary intellectual trends in Judaism. Glazer is currently the Senior Rabbi at Congregation Beth Sholom, San Francisco, CA.

Some of his publications include, Tangle of Matter and Ghost: Leonard Cohen’s Post-Secular Songbook of Mysticism(s) Jewish and Beyond (Academic Studies Press, 2017), Mystical Vertigo: Kabbalistic Hebrew Poetry Dancing Over the Divide (Academic Studies Press, 2013), A New Physiognomy of Jewish Thinking: Critical Theory After Adorno as Applied to Jewish Thought (New York: Continuum, 2011), and Contemporary Hebrew Mystical Poetry: How It Redeems Jewish Thinking (Edwin Mellen Press: New York, 2009).

Rabbi Dr. Nehemia Polen is Professor of Jewish Thought at Boston’s Hebrew College. He is the author of The Holy Fire: The Teachings of Rabbi Kalonymus Shapira, the Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto (Jason Aronson, 1994, 1999). He received his Ph.D. from Boston University, where he studied with and served as teaching fellow for Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. In 1994 he was Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow at Harvard University, and has also been a Visiting Scholar at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

He studied at Yeshivat Ner Israel, both in Baltimore and Toronto. In 1998-9 he was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, working on the writings of Malkah Shapiro (1894-1971), the daughter of a noted hasidic master, whose Hebrew memoirs focus on the spiritual lives of women in the context of pre-war Hasidism in Poland. The research culminated in his book, The Rebbe’s Daughter(Jewish Publication Society, 2002), recipient of a National Jewish Book Award. Last year he was on sabbatical in Jerusalem, where he co-taught a course on Polish Hasidism at Hebrew University.