Advanced Praise for The Kedumah Experience: The Primordial Torah, by Zvi Ish-Shalom, to be released October, 2017.
"This book is a treasure of the most profound Jewish mysticism from very ancient sources which predate the Kabbalah, and which also, through Zvi Ish-Shalom's expert presentation, makes available for people of our time of all religious traditions"
– Father Thomas Keating, founding teacher of the Centering Prayer movement and author of Open Mind, Open Heart
“An exciting, inspiring, and ground breaking book. Zvi lays bare the ultimate, primordial spirituality of the “Torah,” what is finally real and true in Judaism. In these pages, Zvi frees the Torah from its social and cultural limitations so that, with him, we many see and appreciate the full measure of its sacred and universal truth.
In Zvi’s reading, the Torah, over the millennia so faithfully honored and protected in Judaic tradition, can now be discovered not only as the innermost, animating force of Judaism but as the spiritual inheritance of all people, no matter their time or place.
Zvi’s impeccable training and experience as an Orthodox Rabbi positions him to show us the true, spiritual meaning of “orthodoxy” in Judaism, that is, utter fidelity to the infinite depth and wisdom of the Torah. The very nature of the Torah itself requires, in his view, that the Torah be freed for all humanity.
This book is important both for Jews, “practicing” and otherwise, and also for all people who are engaged in the spiritual quest.”
– Reginald A. Ray, University Professor, Naropa University and Co-founder of Dharma Ocean Foundation. Author of Secrets of the Vajra World and Touching Enlightenment.
"I am delighted that my friend, Rabbi Zvi Ish-Shalom, is sharing his captivating and touching reflections on the profound tradition of Jewish mysticism and other contemplative paths in The Kedumah Experience: The Primordial Torah. As a follower of the Vajrayana tradition of Buddhism, I have always valued a wide variety of spiritual approaches to awakening the heart and mind and discovering new insights about ourselves and our world. I am confident that readers from all backgrounds will find in this beautiful book a compelling invitation to explore the nature of their experience."
– Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, abbot of Dzogchen Monastery, president of Nalandabodhi, founder of Nītārtha Institute, and author of Rebel Buddha and Emotional Rescue.
"Zvi Ish-Shalom's experience with a variety of therapies and meditation have given him a deep psychological sophistication. He is not only conceptually involved in the teachings; he is an adept in applying them experientially, with introspective awareness."
– Rabbi Dr. Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal movement and co-author of A Heart Afire: Stories and Teachings of the Early Hasidic Masters
“The Kedumah Experience is an innovative and creative examination of the potential of Kabbalah to move beyond the confines of normative Judaism and speak to the world about the nature and depth of human consciousness through the lens of the Jewish esoteric tradition. Combining learned expositions of mystical lore with a practical guide to its adaptation through conversation and practice, Ish-Shalom’s book will inspire both beginner and expert alike. His extensive end-notes give the adept a clear sense of the depth of his learning while the book itself is a lucid journey through the portals of human consciousness via a sparkling synthesis of Kabbalah and other forms of mystical praxis. A masterful combination of theory and practice.”
– Rabbi Dr. Shaul Magid, Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Professor of Jewish Studies, Indiana University/Bloomington and author of American Post-Judaism
Who is this Ish immersed in the awe of Being? May he come and show us his way.
Homage to the Primordial Torah, Its three essential hypostases and Illimitable branches:
A veritable Tree of Life and source of strength: Her ways are sweetness and their integration is Shalom.
Increasing numbers of us are finding the meaning for our existence within a new modality of consciousness. This still barely (yet rapidly) emerging paradigm is an entirely new manifestation of the Original Light, by means of which Primordial human consciousness has always seen, sees, and foresees the All and Everything. By its very nature this multi-perspectival consciousness is embodied in the total experience of all conscious beings on the planet Earth. Yet while this illumination produces a common chord, the notes of its melody often still depend on creatively transforming overtones that resound from the music of older paradigms of wisdom.
Among the prerequisites for prophets and teachers of the emerging paradigm are direct knowledge of Reality, mastery of the language and practices of a particular historical tradition, and a vast command and familiarity with many other forms of inquiry, conceptualization, and methods of awakening. When it comes to the manifestation of this fully planetary light in a form that is rooted in the ancient Torah tradition, there are as yet very few who can embody these requisite qualities. Zvi Ish-Shalom is one such person and I cannot adequately express how much I respect him. One could, of course, list some of his many accomplishments, and skills, languages, and fields of knowledge that Zvi has mastered, but when it comes to the genius of real mastery the whole is always so much greater than the sum of its parts. I would rather simply say that there is probably no one else in the world with whom I feel a greater sense of shared vision. Zvi has never really been my student. Yet whenever I speak with him or contemplate his teachings, I so often feel that we are two facets of one being on the very same path, guided by the same light, involved in an almost identical process, and witnessing a nearly identical vision. As such, I have the greatest hope for Zvi and his Kedumah teaching. In his hands, rests much of my own hopes for the continued manifestation of a new paradigm of Torah that quite transcends the limitations of the rabbinic form, including even the very best attempts at its renewal. The emerging paradigm goes far beyond all nostalgic efforts to refurbish an obsolete and no longer adequate vehicle. Because Zvi has had the capacity and merit to do the work required in order to qualify for direct knowledge that is independent of any intermediate authority and has an extremely high level of facility in all major aspects and stages of the Torah tradition, he can express a mode of Primordial Torah that is authentic yet really new. I marvel at how clearly Zvi has been able to conceptualize the entire field of Torah, to diagnose what needs to be transcended and how skillfully he can perform the transformations that actually make the fourth turning of Torah manifest. With humility and admiration, I am honored to fully endorse his work.
Written during the period when we aspire to be vessels that can be worthy to hold the Primordial Light for another year. September 23, 2017/ 4th of Tishrei, 5778.
- Rabbi Dr. Miles Krassen, author of Steps towards a World-that-is-Coming, founder of Planetary Judaism (formerly “Rain of Blessings”) former Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Contemplative Judaism at Naropa University and Oberlin College.