At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for God with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land
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At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for God with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Yossi Klein Halevi's first book, Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist, a remarkable coming-of-age story, was lauded by the New York Times as being "of burning importance ... a drama central to the very soul of Jewish life." Now, in At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden, Haleví describes his unprecedented and extraordinary spiritual journey to discover, as a religious Israeli Jew,...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 4th 2001 by William Morrow (first published September 1st 2001)
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Real Supergirl
This is a brilliant, fascinating book about an Israeli, observantly Jewish journalist's spiritual journey. he spends a year observing the holidays and daily rituals with various religious Muslims (primarily Sufi) and Christians. He does all this without ever losing or questioning his Jewish faith - what he is searching for is the interfaith common language and belief structure for all three religions. And he finds it - even if plenty of fundamentalist Muslims, Christians, and Jews would deny it...more
Near the beginning of this book, Halevi talks about the “idolatry of separation,” the emphasis upon how the three monotheistic faiths that sprung out of the middle east, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, distinguish themselves from one another. Each claims Abraham as their spiritual father, but there the differences begin.

Halevi is not concerned with theological discussions of these differences. He does deal with the history of the area – it’s unavoidable in talking about the state of Israel an...more
This is one of my favorite non-fiction books. In the intro, upon re-reading the book recently, I came across a passage that I really connected with. He said that he's a religious pluralist. That he believes that all the religions of the world are really just one, its just that they interpret things differently. It is exactly how I feel. I always called myself a spiritualist, that I was more interested in spirituality than religion. But I agree, I think that people approach spirituality different...more
Laura Engelken
This is an excellent book - clearly structured, well-written, insightful and inspirational. Halevi did an excellent job describing the complex social, religious and political realities of the Holy Land - all through the narrative of his own spiritual search.

Also, Halevi's perspectives as an American religious Jew, child of Holocaust survivors, and now Israeli citizen - helped me get a sense of the deep distrust many Jews have of Christians and Christianity. There were a number of vignettes whic...more
This is a wonderful account of one orthodox Jewish person's attempt to engage with the spiritualities of Islam and Christianity in the context of Israel/Palestine. It is beautifully written, very moving and ultimately hopeful about the human possibilities of overcoming the demonization of the Other. There is still no formally agreed peace process for the afea but the kind of meetings Halevi describes have a symbolic power for what is possible.
Sharon Rosenberg-Scholl
This was a beautiful book. The author's descriptions of the people he meets and places he goes and his honest reflection and expressions of his feelings and fears was just captivating. If he and the people he befriends in this book were in power, we could have peace. Insha'Allah - Keyn Hehi Ratzon.
Jenny Larsen
An interesting book to read before Easter and to begin to learn about Israel.
John Hoag
Chapter on Armenia is truly outstanding.
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