Listening to the
Heart of Genesis
by Rabbi Leila Gal Berner
For those seeking a fresh, contemporary approach to the stories and themes of Genesis, this book offers an inspiring gateway into the heart of the ancient text. Both newcomers and seasoned readers will benefit from Rabbi Leila Gal Berner’s invitation to personal contemplation. Basing her work on a Christian method of reading Scripture – lectio divina (reading the holy) – Rabbi Berner’s adaptation for Jews as kriat ha-kodesh (reading the sacred) is welcoming and accessible to readers of all faiths.
After retelling each story from a very human perspective, Rabbi Berner advances rabbinic perspectives that have illuminated each biblical saga over the centuries. In addition, she brings the text to life with contemporary stories of real people whose experiences echo the biblical stories. A final section to each chapter suggests probing questions for personal contemplation and meditation, which can be used both by individual readers as part of a spiritual practice and also by groups of spiritual seekers. Group leaders will find a helpful facilitator’s guide to structure their sessions. Beginning with Rabbi Berner’s own classes, groups have formed throughout North America using her method.