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Judaism is of course the foundation of all Western Religion. The following selection of books relate to Traditional Judaism, Jewish Mysticism, the Essenes, and other related topics.
Jewish Meditation : A Practical Guide
Aryeh Kaplan
Kaplan shows that meditation is consistent with traditional Jewish thought and practice. The book presents a variety of meditative techniques to help make the reader a better person, and develop a closer relationship to God.

Honey from the Rock : An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism
by Lawrence Kushner
Lawrence Kushner describes Honey from the Rock as "an attempt to synthesize some of the world view of classical Jewish mysticism, or Kabbala, with the ordinary life experience of its author." In the introduction, Kushner also explains that the book "works best, not as a primer on Kabbalah, nor as a glimpse into the private places of a liberal Rabbi, but as a means of enticing the reader to allow a Kabbalistic world view to inform his or her everyday life."

God Was in This Place and I, I Did Not Know : Finding Self, Spirituality and Ultimate Meaning
by Lawrence Kushner
God Was in This Place & I, I Did Not Know is about seven different ways to read the Bible verse quoted in its title (Genesis 28:16). The titular verse is Jacob's exclamation upon awakening from his vision of angels ascending and descending a ladder to heaven. For centuries, readers have tried to imagine what the angels were trying to tell Jacob; Rabbi Lawrence Kushner has now surveyed some of the most illuminating reflections on that question.

by Gershom Scholem
Gershom Scholem is considered one of the world's leading authorities on Jewish Mysticism; this book has received excellent reviews.

Zohar : The Book of Enlightenment (Classics of Western Spirituality)
by Daniel Chanan Matt (Introduction), Arthur Green (Preface)
The Zohar, "the book of Splendor," has fascinated readers from its first appearance in the 13th century. It is the major text of the Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical tradition.

Zohar : The Book of Splendor : Basic Readings from the Kabbalah
by Gershom Scholem
One of the great masterpieces of Western religious thought, the Zohar represents an attempt to uncover hidden meanings behind the world of appearances. It is the central work in the literature of the Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical tradition. This volume of selected passages from the Zohar, culled by the greatest authority on Jewish mysticism, offers a sampling of its unique vision of the esoteric wonders of creation; the life and destiny of the soul; the confluence of physical and divine love; suffering and death; exile and redemption.

Judaism : A Very Short Introduction
by Norman Solomon
Norman Solomon's succinct book is an ideal introduction to Judaism as a religion and way of life. In addition to surveying the nature and development of Judaism, this Very Short Introduction outlines the basics of practical Judaism - its festivals, prayers, customs, and various sects. Modern concerns and debates of the Jewish people are also addressed, such as the impact of the Holocaust, the establishment of the State of Israel, the status of women, and medical and commercial ethics. This book makes fascinating reading for those who want to find out more about a people who are familiar, yet retain a certain mystique.

The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered : The First Complete Translation and Interpretation of 50 Key Documents Withheld for over 35 Years
by Robert H. Eisenman, Michael O. Wise, Michael Wise
Eisenman and Wise have put together a phenomenal collection of some of the most significant missing scrolls. Each translation is accompanied by commentary and reproduction in the original Hebrew or Aramaic. Photographic plates of several of the actual scrolls are included.

The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception
by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh (Contributor)
The oldest Biblical manuscripts in existence, the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in caves near Jerusalem in 1947, only to be kept a tightly held secret for nearly fifty more years, until the Huntington Library unleashed a storm of controversy in 1991 by releasing copies of the Scrolls. In this gripping investigation authors Baigent and Leigh set out to discover how a small coterie of orthodox biblical scholars gained control over the Scrolls, allowing access to no outsiders and issuing a strict "consensus" interpretation. The authors' questions begin in Israel, then lead them to the corridors of the Vatican and into the offices of the Inquisition. With the help of independent scholars, historical research, and careful analysis of available texts, the authors reveal what was at stake for these orthodox guardians: The Scrolls present startling insights into early Christianity -- insights that challenge the Church's version of the "facts." More than just a dramatic exposť of the intrigues surrounding these priceless documents, The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception presents nothing less than a new, highly significant perspective on Christianity.

Teachings of the Essenes from Enoch to the Dead Sea Scrolls
by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely
The essence of Edmond Bordeaux Szekely's well-known books on the Essenes.

The Other Bible
by Willis Barnstone (Editor)
This is an excellent collection. It includes portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Nag Hammadi Library, book of Enoch, Jewish Apocrypha, and more. There are many scriptures that were excluded from the codification of the Bible for one reason or another. This collection gives you access to many of them in one book.

More coming soon!

= Gary Beckwith's comments

= This book was suggested by a Friend of the Harmony Institute.

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