The Jewish mystical tradition regards the rituals and stories of
the Holy Day cycle as symbolic representations of internal
spiritual and psychological development, helping us to translate
the experience into the language of contemporary psychological
theories. Joel Ziff draws from his rich knowledge of psychology and
his fluency with text to present us with Mirrors in Time, a
practical guide that integrates the wisdom of the Jewish mystical
tradition with contemporary psychological perspectives, illustrated
with clinical examples. The Holy Days provide a context that offers
similar opportunities to those experienced in psychotherapy,
creating time to reflect upon the nature of challenges we face, and
to consider how we might best respond. The texts of Jewish
tradition describe a process through rituals, images, stories, and
symbols. These can be difficult to understand because they are
ancient, agrarian, hierarchical, and patriarchal in nature.
Contemporary psychological perspectives can often articulate
obscure mystical concepts. In his effort to translate the ideas of
such mystical thinkers as Shneur Zalman of Lyady into a modern,
twentieth-century framework, Ziff includes theories developed by
Freud, Jung, Assagioli, Perls, Erickson, and their students. The
unique character of each Holy Day is experienced in the context of
one's journey through the year; a journey that includes births and
deaths beginnings and endings, opportunities and crises, successes
and failures. We recreate and reinvent ourselves, giving birth to
new identity. In Mirrors in Time: A Psycho-Spiritual Journey
through the Jewish Year, Joel Ziff shows us how each Holy Day
represents a specific milestone in this psychospiritual process.
The unique rituals, symbols, and stories of each Holy Day help us
identify the particular nature and challenges of each stage as well
as connecting us with the appropriate aspect of Divinity to support
us in meeting those challenges.
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