Tomer Persico on the Jewish Meditative Tradition
The Jewish Meditative Tradition: Past and Present
The Jewish meditative tradition is a diverse collection of techniques and practices, originating at different eras and exhibiting varying characteristics. In this presentation we shall attempt a summation of the major trends of Jewish meditation following a chronological scheme, and aiming to underline the shifts in emphasis displayed by different Jewish Meditative paths, from Merkabah literature, through Kabbalah, Hasidism and ending with contemporary spirituality circles. Special consideration will be given to an evaluation of the similarities and differences between Jewish and Buddhist meditation. The presentation will be followed by a discussion with Jack Petranker, director of the Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages.
Dr. Tomer Persico is a research fellow and Scholar in Residence of the Shalom Hartman Institute based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Koret Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish and Israel Studies at U.C. Berkeley.
Dr. Persico's fields of study are contemporary spirituality, Jewish renewal, and forms of secularization and religiosity in Israel. His book, The Jewish Meditative Tradition (Hebrew), dealing with techniques of meditation in the Jewish tradition and analyzing cultural transformations leading to the observed shifts in meditative emphasis through generations, was published by Tel Aviv University Press.
Tomer is an activist for freedom of religion in Israel, writes the most popular blog in Hebrew on religion, and has written hundreds of articles on these subjects for popular media.
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