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The Thirteen Petalled Rose: A Discourse on the Essence of Jewish Existence and Belief [Paperback]

Adin Steinsaltz
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Nov 2006
From Madonna's music videos to the glossy pages of celebrity magazines and back to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Jewish mysticism has stepped into the modern consciousness like never before. In this classic work, world-renowned scholar Adin Steinsaltz answers the major questions asked by modern Jews about the nature of existence in God's universe. The title The Thirteen Petalled Rose is taken from the opening of the classic Jewish text on mysticism, the Zohar, and refers to the "collective souls of the Jewish people," which scholars have likened to the fullness of a rose and its thirteen petals. Along with a new preface by the author, this edition contains a new chapter on prayer that provides the most up-to-date account of the Kabbalistic view of devotion. Another new chapter recounts and interprets the prophet Elijah's Introduction to the Zohar. "Steinsaltz possesses a mind of the quality that occurs perhaps once or twice in a generation, or several generations...In [The Thirteen Petalled Rose] one can encounter the classical Jewish mystical view of reality, delineated lucidly, concisely, profoundly and, what is so rare, believingly. It is an utterly authentic expression of Judaism yet so unknown even among the well-informed and therefore so necessary, so welcome." (Herbert Weiner, Oxford University)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; New Ed edition (2 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465082726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465082728
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.5 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 410,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Renowned author, revered spiritual leader, innovator, legendary Talmudic scholar, educator, pioneer; Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz is an amalgamation of knowledge, talents, and characteristics.

Rabbi Steinsaltz has dedicated his life to the pursuit of knowledge culminating in the monumental translation and commentary of the Babylonian Talmud into modern vernacular. In parallel, he published over 60 books on a variety of subjects ranging from Jewish mysticism to zoology, set up a network of educational institutions in Israel and the former Soviet Union, and traveled the world lecturing in communities from Virginia to Vladivostok.

Rabbi Steinsaltz holds honorary degrees from Yeshiva University, Ben Gurion University, Bar Ilan University, and Brandeis University, and is a recipient of the Israel Prize and Israel's President's Prize, the country's highest honors

Shefa is the umbrella organization that unites all of Rabbi Adin Evan Israel (Steinsaltz's) work and institutions. Created in the 1970s, in its initial years Shefa's activities focused primarily on the writing and publication of The Steinsaltz Talmud, other books by the Rabbi and on his classes and lectures in Israel and abroad. In addition, the Shefa Yeshiva for advanced Jewish studies operated under its aegis.
Over the past three decades, Rabbi Evan Israel Steinsaltz's activities grew and expanded: creating educational institutions and other organizations for Jewish study in Israel and overseas; continuing to author books on a wide variety of themes; the translation of his published books into more than ten languages; and an intense world-wide travel schedule to teach Jewish thought to beginners and advanced students and scholars.
In 2005, the Shefa Institute was reorganized to ensure the proper management, coordination and operation of all the Rabbi's activities and institutions in Israel and abroad.
Located at the Steinsaltz Center, a beautiful edifice in the heart of Jerusalem that houses the Rabbi's personal study, administrative offices, The Israel Institute for Talmudic Publications, a research center and publishing wing, lecture hall with classes led by the Rabbi and other leading scholars and thinkers, and a department to raise needed funds to spread the message of Jewish study worldwide, Shefa has become the central address for all of Rabbi Adin Evan Israel Steinsaltz's activities.
In 2011, with the completion of his monumental "The Steinsaltz Talmud," an effort which took over 45 years to complete, the Rabbi and his team began working on four major initiatives: The Steinsaltz Mishnah; Commentary to the Bible; Commentary on Maimonides' Mishnah Torah; and an in-depth commentary to the Jewish prayer book, all efforts to provide access to what for so many are closed pages of Jewish thought.
Beyond these new projects, Shefa continues to coordinate the translation of the Steinsaltz Talmud and other publications into many languages and oversees the Rabbis travel itinerary to teach at communities around the world.
All of Shefa's programs are guided by Rabbi Steinsaltz's oft-quoted slogan: "Let My People Know" - a ceaseless, never-ending drive to make the treasures of Jewish culture accessible to all.

Product Description


This little book is a book for the soul. It begins, quite deliberately (and perhaps to the dismay of some readers), with a view of another reality. It does not proceed from this world, or from the familiar ways of man in our society. Instead, it seeks to go from the genuine center of all being to the world and to human life. There is no attempt here to speak of Judaism, to prove its worth or to justify it; rather, to let the message communicate itself. And if a person permits his soul to listen, the soul will soon learn that all it needs to do is remember. Because in some dim and enigmatic way, it already knows all this.--Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is internationally regarded as one of the leading scholars and rabbis of this century. His education includes a degree in mathematics from Hebrew University, in addition to his rabbinic studies. Rabbi Steinsaltz founded the Israel Institute for Talmudic Publications; under its aegis, he has published fifty-eight books on the Talmud, Jewish mysticism, religious thought, sociology, historical biography, and philosophy. His biography of the famed Rabbi Menachem Schneerson will be published in 2007. These books have been translated into Russian, English, French, Portuguese, Swedish, Japanese, and Dutch. He lives in Jerusalem.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Distilled Essence of Judaism for ALL Seekers 30 July 2004
Whether one is Jewish or not, this book clearly and succinctly provides important knowledge about esoteric Jewish beliefs for those who are seeking answers to spiritual questions. The discourse on "Worlds" includes abstract but not difficult to follow ideas of how energy, thoughts, actions and feelings affect other dimensions ("worlds"). The description of the domain of angels and their interaction in the human realm is very lucid and enlightening. The mysteries of the Kabbalah are touched upon in terms of how the ten Sefirot connect to organic Reality. The mystery of life is revealed as events in our world affect the nature and quality of relations, in terms of light and power in other worlds. The importance of the study and practice of mitzvot can not be over emphasized. It is words and deeds that help illuminate our soul and bring about blessings which make the world a better place. Through human will, the inersection of all worlds occurs, because the human being has the power to change the fixed order of things.
Rabbi Steinsaltz's description of that which is "Holy" is exceptionally clear. Holy means separation, that which is Holy is untouchable, distinctly "Other", and can not be understood or defined. He does however reassure us, despite the transcendental nature and distance of that which is Holy, human beings can become more receptive and open to Its influence. He connects time, space, and the soul of humans with the effects of the Sefirot in our realm, along with the performance of mitzvot. The results of all these connections and interacitons can be described as concentric circles or a helix of energy between realms. He describes how the spark of life in man, when expressed as a creative urge brings more divine influence into the world and thus expresses the image of G-d.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Jew should read this book! 28 July 1999
By A Customer
With all the talk about angels lately, this book should be required reading for every Jew. In this thin but profound volume, Rabbi Steinsaltz, coming from an authentic position within both Orthodoxy and kabbalah, clearly explains the Jewish conception of angels and how they work on the four kaobbalistic levels of Action, Formation, Creation, and Emanation. Also explained is how the mitzvahs we do create new angels to raise up the universe's energy, and how a sin (heaven forbid) can drag the universal energies down. He then ties it all together by giving us a beautiful interpetation of the kiddush (wine blessing) ritual. After reading this book, you will never think of Torah as "mere laws" again!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Explanations galore! 10 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This is an excellent book! I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to Christians who are searching for some meaning in life. This book explains what Jesus meant when he said, "In my Father's house are many mansions." It also explains what Paul meant by "seeing through a glass darkly." Since there is no doubt that both Jesus and Paul were Jewish mystics, it makes sense that explanations for their teachings can be found in Kabbalah! Excellent reading!
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