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God Is a Verb

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  699 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Since medieval times, the mystical tradition of Kabbalah was restricted to qualified men over forty—because it was believed that only the most mature and pious could grasp its complexity and profound, life-changing implications. More recently, Kabbalah nearly disappeared—as most of its practitioners perished in the Holocaust. Now this powerful spiritual tradition, after ce ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Riverhead Books (first published August 25th 1997)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  699 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Oct 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
(recommended by Patrick)
Yes, it's finally switched from "Currently reading" to the "read" shelf, but this is one of those books one will always be "currently reading"... A wonderful introduction to Kabbalah that demystifies the mysticism a bit, and true to Kabbalah form ends up raising as many questions as it answers. Which is, you know, the point of life. We're all constantly in motion, each day brings an entirely new set of circumstances. Kabbalah reminds me a lot of a fractal - highly struct
Dec 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I spent Friday night and today reading the first half of this book, two of the four sections. It is a MIND OPENER. For years I have struggled with many aspects of Judaism, things I did not understand, difficult question about life, and all those questions that ache in the back of our minds but we somehow never quite come to answers that we understand. This book gives an excellent introductory explanation about Kabbalah, but goes far beyond that. The author also explains many aspects of Judaism a ...more
Jeffrey Cohan
Jan 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality, judaism
The fact that praise from Jack Kornfield and Ram Dass appears on the cover of Rabbi David Cooper’s “God Is a Verb” means:

a) Cooper’s publisher was trying to market the book to “spiritual seekers” all of stripes, not just Jews.

b) The book is based more on Eastern philosophy than on Judaism.

I would say a) is obviously true, but I’m not so sure about b).

Most of “God is a Verb” is actually grounded in Jewish sources, particularly The Zohar, the main te
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been studying Kabbalah for about a year now, and for the most part all of my study's have come from the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles, CA, and out of that center 90% of books that I have are from Michael & Yehuda Berg; which are both AMAZING teachers, writers, and mentors; so you could never go wrong picking up any one of there books. With that being said this book by Rabbi David Cooper is so far the most AMAZING book on Kabbalah that I've ever had the privilege to read. I started read ...more
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
A good bit different than most Kabbalah texts. There is less numerology/path information here and more story telling. The stories, warmth and winks that come from a loving Rabbi make this an exceptional read
Krista McCracken
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
A really well done introduction to Kabbalah and mystical judaism. Cooper introduces readers to aspects of Kabbalah that are rarely spoken about and often unknown by the general public. I enjoyed the writing style used by Cooper. His philosophical explanations are often accompanied by 'stories' which explain complex subject via a simple proverb. Cooper also includes a number of guidelines for those readers looking to expand their meditative practice.
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a delicate treat that I reread slowly to savor each image. As a Gnostic leaning Christian, my experience of Rabbi Cooper's peaceful mysticism is that he brings me closer to the roots of Rabbi Jesus. The highlight of the book for me was the insight Cooper provides into understanding Jewish symbols such as the chariot as metaphor. An excellent read for anyone studying the Bible or wanting to relax into peaceful mysticism. Cooper does a wonderful job contextualizing Mystical Judaism.
Coby Friesen
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was hoping for a little more philosophy, but what was here was delicious. I find The imagery in Jewish mysticism to be irresistible. I was surprised to find how much storytelling and exercises there were in here. Definitely going back to do the exercises.
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book made me fall in love.
Murray Zedeck
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A mind opener.
Just starting a re-read on Yom Kippur 2018. The book explained the “unexplainable” to me in the past and I think more insights are coming. It’s a keeper!
Naomi Pattirane
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rabbi David Cooper is a Vipassana meditator who draws some interesting parallels between Tibetan Buddhist concepts and Kabbalah. A good read for those interested in mystical Judaism.
Christian Fontaine
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book. Many contemplations and meditations.
Melvin Marsh, M.S.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: judaism, kabbalah
Very common book to cite in the other kabbalah books. There are a ton of meditations that I have seen repeated in others.
Liz (readwildly)
DNF @ 45%. I renewed this book 3 times before I had to return it to the library. I just couldn't get through it.
Simcha Wood
May 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Rabbi Cooper's God is a Verb is a bit uneven, but in the end I found myself disposed toward giving it a positive review. Among other things, it is probably this most egregiously mis-titled book I have ever read. The title comes from Rabbi Cooper's concept that God should be seen not as a being but as a process, which he calls "God-ing." Of course, if I may geek with the grammar for a moment, "God-ing," as the name of a process, is not a verb but a noun. Granted, "God is a Participial Noun," doesn't ...more
Arnaldo Goncalves
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book about Kabbalah for non-Jews as it gives a detailed assessment of this spiritual path, taking into account the Jewish traditions but looking to go beyond them and beyond the injunctions of the Law of Moses. It positions the search for the Light and the Divine in the level of an individual search and a dialogue with the Creator non-mediated by the clergy or the synagogue's apparatus. The way the book looks to the Creation, as a on-going process where Man has a say, is chal ...more
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book for anyone who is open to the mystical Wisdom Tradition in any of its forms. It provides a coherent spiritual cosmology and ethical framework which I think makes sense even outside of its Jewish roots. Kabbala 'opens up' monotheism and allows for a discussion of good and evil, suffering, justice, death and beyond in a much more satisfying way than mainstream Christian theology. (I don't know much about mainstream Judaic teaching, so I can't comment on that.)

Jan 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Regardless of how much the specific beliefs resonate with you, I recommend this book for anyone who would like to understand more about Kabbalah. It is fascinating to me how much commonality there is between the mystic sides of most faith traditions. What it so often boils down to is that "All That Groks is God". I believe that. Thank you, Robert A. Heinlein.

Parts One and Two were my favorite parts of the book, discussing what Kabbalah is, some history, and just a fascinating look at
Jim George
Nov 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I don't want to say that this book will open up a spiritual highway from you to God, it's not a book about shortcuts. It's purpose is to illuminate, a guarded Jewish mysticism, to shed light on a little unknown. There is a wealth of spiritual enlightenment, read it with a grain of salt, the Truth is found in bits and pieces.
Sep 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Kabalah is forbidden in Israel to be practiced by Jews under the age of 40 for its scarey way of turning people insane. yes this book changed my life. For non- jews and jews alike it presents a way of living that lets you take the world into your hands and create the environment around you with ease that is scarey.
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
An interesting starter text on Jewish mysticism, written in an easy to understand voice. The only thing I'd like is more...analysis? Explanation? More whys and connection-drawing, though I suppose it's up to the would-be mystic to find his own truth in the space between.
Linda  Branham Greenwell
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, spirituality, jewish
I have taken a long time to read this book - studying each section in time
I recommend this book if you are willing to be challenged to grow in your beliefs and willing to think outside the box... to look at God and spirituality in a new way
Harold Gower
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the only book on Kabbalah that I was able to read, understand and finish. So far, I have read it twice.
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
It is a good overview of jewish mysticism.
Emna Guerbaa
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very spirtual and deep ! love it
J Sharkey
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an essential book in the beginning of one's exploration of Jewish meditation and Jewish Renewal.
Ccmaria62 crow
Jun 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A great intro to the Kabbalah. Lovely stories about poignant Rabbis and their walk of faith via stories of their faith/mysticism in Judaism
Sep 24, 2012 added it
Eye-opening book! Very esoteric, metaphysical content!
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a book about the Jewish Kabbalah written by a scholar. It is an excellent overview. It is NOT about the occult or magick or anything New Age.
May 20, 2009 added it
I like this book. There are a lot of stories and meditations.
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