A “Best Spiritual Book of the Year.”
Spirituality & Practice

Hasidic Tales: Annotated & Explained

Breathes new life into classic stories from people who so marvelously combined the mystical and the ordinary. Rabbi Rami serves as an expert guide to these wise and meaningful stories that can help further your own spiritual awakening.

Translation & Annotation by Rabbi Rami Shapiro
Foreword by Andrew Harvey

5½ x 8½, 240 pp | 978-1-893361-86-7

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Large Print edition available from ReadHowYouWant.com

The Tales of the Hasidic Masters Can Become a Companion for Your Own Spiritual Journey.

“The wisdom of the Hasidim is earthy, realistic, rooted in the simplicity of the heart. It is alive with the awareness of the holiness of Creation and the boundlessness of God’s mercy, and is utterly honest about the necessity of living such awareness in loving service to all beings. It is a wisdom that fuses the highest mystical initiations with the most down-home celebration of life and a rugged commitment to social and political justice in all its forms. In other words, it is a wisdom that is never, as my old prep school headmaster would put it, ‘too divine to be of any earthly use.’”

—from the Foreword by Andrew Harvey

Martin Buber, author of Tales of Hasidim, was the first to bring the Hasidic tales to life for modern readers in the middle of the twentieth century. His groundbreaking work was the first time that most readers had ever encountered the lives and teachings of these profound and enigmatic spiritual masters from Eastern Europe.

In Hasidic Tales: Annotated & Explained, Rabbi Rami Shapiro breathes new life into these classic stories of people who so marvelously combined the mystical and the ordinary. Each demonstrates the spiritual power of unabashed joy, offers lessons for leading a holy life, and reminds you that the Divine can be found in the everyday. Without an expert guide, the allegorical quality of Hasidic Tales can be perplexing. But Shapiro presents them as stories rather than parables, making them accessible and meaningful. Now you can experience the wisdom of Hasidism firsthand even if you have no previous knowledge of Jewish spirituality. This SkyLight Illuminations edition offers insightful yet unobtrusive commentary that explains theological concepts, introduces major characters, offers clarifying references unfamiliar to most readers, and reveals how you can use the Hasidic tales to further your own spiritual awakening.

“An excellent introduction and anthology of exemplary tales.... Alive with meaning. Highly recommended.”

Library Journal

“An invaluable gift ... inspiring and enlightening. Filled with insights into human nature and Divine activity in everyday life.... There is plenty of wise counsel here.”

Spirituality & Health

"Like an seasoned Hasid from the emerging future paradigm, Rami tells the stories from the heart.  His insightful comments help the contemporary intellect to realize what the soul intuitively knows."

Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi, author of Wrapped in a Holy Flame and First Steps to a New Jewish Spirit

"Rami Shapiro has given us two gifts, an illuminating contemporary rendering of this timeless spiritual classic, along with commentary of everyday, personal stories that reveal the joy-filled wisdom. I loved it!"

Sylvia Boorstein, author of That’s Funny,You Don’t Look Buddhist

"Brings alive the holy sparks of spirituality in modern Judaism, offering practical, clear exercises designed to reawaken and nurture one’s soul. This is an essential guide for anyone who wishes to tap the wellsprings of the heart of Jewish practice."

Rabbi David A. Cooper, author of Silence, Simplicity & Solitude