The spiritual involution that swept through Eastern Europe in the eighteenth century continues to resonate for spiritual seekers today.
While we continue to search for the vessels to contain the overflowing light of its illumination, the mystic, Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer (1700-1760), known as the Master of the Good Name or the Baal Shem Tov [BESHT] revealed profound teachings of great insight that continue delineating the foundations of Jewish contemplative spiritual practice.
In his thirty-sixth year, while residing in Miedzyboz, Podolia, the BESHT revealed these perennial teachings of contemplative guidance in Prayer, Sacred Study, and the Spiritual Life.
What remains to be rediscovered is a remarkable journey into the mystical foundation of Jewish prayer life including: The Union of Worlds, Souls and Divinity in Prayer, Study, and Speech; Preparation for Prayer and Entering into Contemplation; Constricted Consciousness and Actualizing Genuine Presence; Lurianic Transformations and Simple Transformations; Preaching Reproof and Prayer; Prayer With Lurianic Kavvanot, and Identifying the Mystical in Kabbalah; Sincere Prayer – The Union of Speech and Thought; Distracting Thought and Thought Transformation; Teachings on Sincerity, Spontaneity, and Volition; Prayer for the Shekhinah and Prayer for one’s Enemies; God’s Will and Knowledge; Messianic Prayer, and Creative Union.
No adept will be the same after traversing the garden of these mystical delights.
The Pillar of Prayer: Guidance in Contemplative Prayer, Sacred Study, and the Spiritual Life from the Baal Shem Tov and his Circle is the largest organized collection of spiritual guidance on Jewish meditative-prayer and the contemplative lifestyle from the earliest and most creative period of Hasidic Mysticism.
In addition to furnishing the reader with more than double the material ever assembled on this subject in previous Hebrew-language collections, this accessible, bilingual volume provides original translations and commentaries that make its unique treasures intelligible to scholar and seeker alike.