A Few Reviews of Mending the Heart, Tending the Soul
"In Mending the Heart, Tending the Soul, psychologist and advanced meditator, Gail Albert, guides us in a fascinating exploration of the Five Books of Moses, the Torah/Pentateuch. Her emphasis on psychology brings forth rich interpretations of material on each page. . . .Dr. Albert has done a marvelous job in demystifying profound subjects in a way that opens gateways to hidden mysteries for readers of all backgrounds. Her approach offers a new and powerful way to experience the gems and depths of wisdom available in the exploration of popular Biblical study. Highly recommended for all spiritually oriented readers."
—Rabbi David Cooper, God is a Verb
"Gail Albert returns to the ancient way of encountering sacred scriptures, before rationalists rejected them as fairy tale and fundamentalists made them into a simplistic manual for salvation. With Albert’s help, we once again find the original purpose of these holy texts: to lead the one who reflects upon them on a sacred journey of transformation.
Albert takes us slowly, contemplatively, through the layers of meaning that these stories offer. We are brought into the mystery of scripture ever deeper: from head to imagination, to heart and action, and to the depths of soul. It is the classic pattern of Lectio Divina practiced by medieval monastics, and Albert makes this practice fresh again. For those who enter the journey, these sacred stories take on new, and potentially life-changing, vitality."
—Brian C. Taylor, Becoming Christ: Transformation through Contemplation
"There are numerous commentaries of a collective or corporate nature for the people of Israel. Today many search for spiritual nuggets from this sacred text. Of the few out there, I find Mending the Heart, Tending the Soul to be one healthy dose of nourishment for the soul. Insightful in interpretation and wonderfully effective spiritual practice for each parsha. Want to have expanded consciousness via the Torah? Try this book."
—Rabbi Victor Gross, Director of Studies, Aleph Rabbinic Program
"Gail Albert began as my student and has become my treasured colleague in the realm of meaningful and transformative study of the Hebrew Bible. This ancient mother lode of spiritual wisdom requires a piercing intellect and a generous heart in order to access its riches, and Gail brings those gifts and more to the task. Gail brings to bear a writer's sensibility, a psychologist's insight, a meditator's presence and a lifetime of experience as she guides the modern soul along the enlightening path of Biblical teachings. The Hebrew name of the Pentateuch - Torah - literally means "Teaching" or "Guidance". Mending the Heart, Tending the Soul: Directions to the Garden Within brings new life to that ancient Teaching."
—Rabbi Jonathan Kligler, Woodstock Jewish Congregation, Turn It, Turn It For Everything Is In It
"Dr. Albert has given the spiritual seeker a guide to the weekly readings of Torah in Jewish tradition. She begins each week with the narrative, deepens the experience through metaphor, and gently provides suggestions for deep personal meditation. This is a valuable work for those just discovering that Judaism has its own expression of meditative practice."
—Rabbi Mitchell Chefitz, former chairman National Havurah Commitee, The Seventh Telling: The Kabbalah of Moshe Katan
"If you’ve always wanted to read Torah but have been intimidated by the sheer size of a Chumash or the stilted language often used for translations, this is the book you need. Dr. Albert offers a clear, easily readable, and concise text with an overview, a summary, and an interpretation of each weekly parsha. She also offers a suggested meditation for each reading and shares her own meditative insight. Even if you don’t practice meditation, you will find her suggestions provide thought-provoking topics for discussion or examining your own perceptions on the week’s Torah portion."
—Gail Tishman, Kohenet Ma'ayana, Morat Shechina b’Yisrael
"Mending the Heart offers a skillful presentation of insightful Torah study. It is especially welcome for those who might not have familiarity with the texts but have the maturity and interest in a profound way of approaching them."
—Rabbi Leah Novick, Founding member of OHALAH, The Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal
"As a preacher I have among my texts for the day a reading from the Old Testament, and a reading from the Gospels. Usually they have a topic or image or situation in common. Mending the Heart, Tending the Soul offers an unusual and edifying approach to this interconnection by going beyond the literal reading of the Torah to seek out spiritual truths that are ineffable, beyond words. Approached this way, both Jewish and Christian Scriptures stand on an equal footing, each able to illuminate the other...and the congregation.
This book can act as a tutorial in how to read the Bible below the literal level; how to seek deeper meanings in any text, New Testament or Old Testament; how to draw closer in faith to those whose spiritual epiphanies drew them to write...what in the end, cannot be written."
—Reverend Susan Auchincloss, www.faithnotfault.com