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The Godseeker's Guide Paperback – 30 Oct 2010
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'Plenty of food for thought among the chuckles as you would expect from this author'
The GoodBookStall<br \><br \> 'His [Blue's] Thoughts for the Day on Radio 4 appeal to atheist and believer alike, and are renowned for their wisdom, humanity and humour. Now Rabbi Blue has written a guide for the spiritually perplexed which retains all those qualities while being free from the constraints of the two minute broadcast.'
The Baptist Times<br \><br \> 'As a book to be dipped into, this will appeal to all his fans - and will surprise many others. Certainly, it surprised me.' --Chruch Times
The Godseeker's Guide is an ideal holiday read. It lifts the spirits with its humour, which Blue has described as "the unofficial scripture of Jewish life". Most powerful is the author's wisdom, such as, "We need a religious home and not a religious prison" and that, "An unselfish action is an invitation for heaven to be present." This is a warm, wise and gently humorous book from Rabbi Lionel Blue. He reveals his own spiritual journey and offers insights into the nature of God, Life and suffering. --RE Today
The Godseeker s Guide is an ideal holiday read. It lifts the spirits with its humour, which Blue has described as the unofficial scripture of Jewish life . Most powerful is the author s wisdom, such as, We need a religious home and not a religious prison and that, An unselfish action is an invitation for heaven to be present. This is a warm, wise and gently humorous book from Rabbi Lionel Blue. He reveals his own spiritual journey and offers insights into the nature of God, Life and suffering. --RE Today
About the Author
Rabbi Lionel Blue was a British Reform rabbi and author who appeared frequently on the stage, on college podiums and on the radio; he was a regular and entertaining contributor to BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day.
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The headings of the eleven chapters are: The Purpose of this Book; Why Did I Become a Godseeker?; Falling in Love and its Results; Repeated Later - The Positive Consequences of Religious Experience; The Holocaust at War; The Hidden Problems of Religious Experience; Unofficial Seminaries and Teachers; Hospitalization; Scriptures of Tradition and Personal Scriptures of Life Experience; God at Work! Getting to Grips with the World; and Ageing, Dying, Death and Heaven.
This is not the kind of book that seeks to treat faith argumentatively. (If you're looking for a more cerebral rabbinical approach to theology, you'd perhaps be better off with the pellucid Jonathan Sacks.) Rabbi Blue's book is confessional, emotional and practical, very much written from the heart and addressed to it. The book sometimes repeats itself, and a critic sterner than me could accuse it of occasionally needing the nip and tuck of a good editor. But it's full of laugh-out-loud humour, it is, I think, wise beyond the wisdom of apologetics and, above all, it is quite marvellously kind. For me, it has been an inspiration and a tonic. I can't imagine how anyone could read it without ending up a little happier and a little closer to heaven as a result.
All the great rabbinical traditions of story-telling are finely woven in to what he says and the way he says it. Humour is the thread that holds the fabric together, God's gift (who else?). But humour came to him in a bitter-sweet way, which he recounts in the early chapters. His early-life career choices went unsupported by his parents. The dawning realisation that he was gay made what is often a difficult time through early adulthood in to a time of turmoil.
That turmoil made him turn this way and that. He describes this in the middle passages of the book where he covers an enormous range from the good (Quakers) to the evil (Holocaust), to personal religious self-doubt, or simply how hospital visits as a Chaplain used to make him physically sick at first.
The inner-most heart of the book can be found in the latter parts. His search for himself at every stage in life (including now old-age), for companionship, and for the divine, coupled with his candidness in relating all three is most probably at the root of the attention he commands from his radio listeners, his readers, and his live audiences.
I suspect his magic lies less in his powers as a story-teller and more deeply in his power of listening. As you read what he says, you may think to yourself: that's just what I think, or that's happened to me. As you do, you have the sense that he's not talking to us, he's listening to us.
Lionel has allowed me to believe in Him-up-there in my way, without having to believe in all the Bible stuff that does not apply to today. It is written for everybody and the lovely thing is that as you read it you can hear Lionel's voice. it is full of humour, easy to read and very uplifting. Thank you Lionel.
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receive from listening to the Rabbi. To hear the
laughter in his voice is something quite unique.
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