A highly respected rabbi, therapist, and teacher restores women's spiritual lineage to Judaism and empowers women to reclaim their rightful connection to Jewish teachings, Kabbalah, and to their own spiritual wisdom.
The astonishing stories of seven remarkable but almost unknown Jewish women form the centerpiece of this treatise on feminine spirituality. Mystics, sages, prayer leaders and miracle workers, the women lived in the second to 20th centuries, in countries from Germany to Kurdistan. Their recorded legacies survived precisely because they bypassed feminine norms. Firestone, a rabbi and psychotherapist, chose the women based on their abilities to bring life into balance, uniting opposites (practical/spiritual; purpose/action) to achieve wholeness. Each woman's story serves further as a springboard for exploring an aspect of Kabbalah, which literally means "the receiving." Wholeness, says Firestone, is "alive" in this mystical Jewish path that "not only acknowledges the feminine aspects of life, but also the fact that neither the human world nor God can be whole without the marriage of its masculine and feminine parts." To help contemporary women apply the mystical approach to their lives today, she includes practical teachings and techniques. Firestone argues for being connected to "one's fire and sensual wisdom," claiming that the subordination of the body to the spirit has created an "unhealed schism" and a disparagement of women. She admits beginning the book in anger at the ways women have been "devalued and omitted," but as she immersed herself in the women's lives, she says, she found their "determination and positive attitude contagious." Though Firestone's plea for wholeness can become repetitious, she writes convincingly of the power of the feminine to enrich and uplift the world.