Compact Disc Review: The Beginner’s Guide to the Kabbalah
by James Bean
Copyright March 2006
The Beginner’s Guide to the Kabbalah:
Unlock the Secrets of the Sacred Texts of Judaism
By Rabbi David Cooper
Label: True Sound – http://www.soundstrue.com
The Sounds True label not only specializes in music but also spoken-word teaching CDs exploring spirituality, meditation practice, and the wisdom of the great world religions.
Rabbi David Cooper, of the Center for Contemplative Judaism, has been called “one of today’s leading teachers of Jewish meditation.” He has authored many books, including: The Heart of Stillness, Silence, Simplicity, and Solitude and God Is A Verb: Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to his introductory talk on the mystical branch of Judaism known as Kabbalah, a term which according to Cooper means: “To receive.” Spirituality is about being receptive to the esoteric wisdom that has been communicated from Master to student for countless centuries. He says, “…Perhaps you feel that having an intimate relationship with the Divine is beyond you, reserved for others or another lifetime. This is not so. It is part of our heritage; it is yours and mine to have … Each breath we draw is connected with the Breath of the universe; and that lover, Beloved, and the essence of love itself all are reflections of exactly the same thing. In each of these moments we “know” the presence of the Divine, and there is no separation…” (God Is A Verb, Riverhead Books) On this recording, Rabbi Cooper discusses the Kabbalah’s most essential teachings and their “potential to uncode the secrets of the universe” and our place in it, the thirty two paths of wisdom, the Tree of Life, worlds within worlds, the Five Levels of the Soul, the Five Worlds or Levels of Reality, the the Timeless Realm of Ein Sof: the eternal NOW, non-dual Oneness that provided the Initial Light of Creation, as well as meditation practice according to Kabbalah. The disc contains some practical spiritual exercises one can try out at home. I highly recommend this Sounds True CD to anyone seeking to learn about the Kabbalah.