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Einstein and the Rabbi: Searching for the Soul

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  381 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Winner of the 2017 Nautilus Award in the Religion/Spirituality of Western Thought Category

A bestselling author and rabbi’s profoundly affecting exploration of the meaning and purpose of the soul

Einstein and the Rabbi is an inspiring and deeply affecting book for people of all faiths, Rabbi Naomi Levy sets off on a three-year exploration of the mystery behind a moving and
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Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Flatiron Books (first published September 5th 2017)
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4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  381 ratings  ·  87 reviews


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Nat
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction

My Most Personal Review

My interest was piqued regarding Einstein and the Rabbi simply with this featured post:



And the book recommendation did not disappoint one bit, upon starting.
"A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'Universe, ' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings as something separate from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness..." --Albert Einstein

When Rabbi Naomi Levy came across this poignant letter by Einst
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BAM The Bibliomaniac
“A human being is part of the whole, called by us the ‘Universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish the delusion but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.”- Albert Einstein to Dr. Robert S. Marcus, a grieving father

Dr. Ma
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Melora
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened, religion
Warm, emotional, generous. The thread running through Levy's book is her search for Rabbi Robert Marcus's letter to Albert Einstein, seeking consolation after the death of his young son, to which Einstein responded,
“A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness”

Levy researches Rabbi Marcus's life, leading her to Bu
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Ami
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
This is not the book to read if you want a biography of Einstein; yes it is biographical in the sense that to provide context for the letter details surrounding Einstein's life are given, but this book isn't about him. In a weird way, this book isn't even about the author, Rabbi Naomi Levi, this is truly a book about the soul, how we connect, and some sense of peace surrounding the after life. Naomi became a Rabbi, one of the first female Rabbi's in her school, after wanting to be one as a child ...more
Hope
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such an inspirational read. I've really been into philosophy books lately and this book definitely delivered. I'm really happy that I received this book in a goodreads giveaway. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Jennifer Tam
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading an amazing and touching book called Einstein and the Rabbi by Rabbi Naomi Levy.

I have been reading it slowly over the last several weeks as I was savoring every word and as I was reading today, I realized I was going to finish it today which felt very right to me - that I would finish it as we enter into the High Holidays.

As I read it, I thought lots about my Judaism background and my Jewish ancestors amd was so touched and inspired by the writing and the story (Ies)and
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Justin
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I received this book, for free, in exchange for an honest review.

This book is a self-help book layered on top of a well written narrative.
The author has a sagely Ram Dass vibe that makes it enjoyable to read what she says.
I learned a good blessing for ones children and was inspired to start observing the Sabbath (at least in spirit). Each chapter has a nice blessing over the reader at the end.

The book has a somewhat strong Jewish tone (which might be expected).
I think the average person will sti
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Emily
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily by: Goodreads (giveaway)
This book started out a little too self-helpy and a bit mystical for my tastes, repeatedly telling me to pay attention to my soul and its guidance. But I'm glad I stuck with it. There are definitely layers of religion in this book regarding the soul and other things that the non-religious might not relate too, but I was able to take some psychological insights and good advice from the text. By sharing anecdotes and stories from her, her family's, and her friend's lives, the author makes her poin ...more
Jackie
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful book, about the soul from the viewpoint of (Reform) Jewish theology. The author (who is a rabbi) reflects on what it means to recognize and care for our souls, drawing from her work and her own life experiences, and it really had an impact on my thinking.

The other theme in the book is a little detective story about the correspondence between Einstein and a rabbi, Robert Marcus, in 1949. Einstein shared what might be considered his own theology: "A human being is a part of th
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Nancee Pangares
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. Just loved it. We all struggle with our heads and our hearts, our hopes, loss, intellect or science and Faith- how all are connected. How purpose is intertwined, how our souls guide us, how the Divine fits into this existence and the next. As a woman of both science and faith, I was intrigued to read this- having read it, with its wisdom and thought-provoking stories, so much I learned that was new- it was a blessing and a gift. It’s going on my hall of fame favorites bookshelf.❤ ...more
Rex
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The soulful way Rabbi Levy tells current stories and reflects on past stories, still relevant today, is a rarity. This book brought me to tears many times and was soul-filling. It also improved my understanding of the Jewish faith, heritage and culture.

This is a book for everyone. Every faith, every age and every persuasion. I gave this book to my
15 year old nephew. He read it and told me "the book definitely made me into a better person" and thanked me for sending it to him.

I might add, the b
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Megan Wight
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely book. Naomi Levy is very humble, genuine, and intelligent. Reading her book is imbibing kindness, positivity, and inspiration. Her book fell into place in my heart and had a resounding effect as a sequel to the Hindu text the Bhagavad Gita. She would fit in well with the ancient and present shamans around the world.
Gary
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a marvelous and moving book about the soul in Jewish/Hassidic/Kabbalistic traditions told through stories including the story of a letter Einstein wrote to a Rabbi who helped rescue holocaust survivors. There are gems throughout but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Highly recommended.
Mike
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a search for our soul. The letter exchanged between Einstein and Rabbi Marcus, seem almost trivial to the corpus of this non fiction book.

Mesmerizing, sentimental, non preachy, yet driven by a higher source.
yamiyoghurt
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
This book is so full of soul, the author is spiritually gifted.

Each chapter has a theme, a lesson for the soul. And each chapter ends with a blessing from the author which I thought was a sweet and poignant touch.

The book starts out with the mystery of a beautiful quote by Einstein, and the author wanting to understand the context of the quote. The author used that story to weave the lessons for the soul together, and it was beautifully done. I loved the book.
Wren
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had as much effect on me as Victor Frankl’s “Man’s Search For Meaning.” I got so much from Rabbi Levy’s wisdom and heart. So much that speaks to those special and unanticipated moments that life provides, as well as to the everyday happenings and mysteries. This is a book that will always stay close — for me to read and reread, and to give to friends.
Jean Kelly
In inspiration book with good advice but what made it special was the letter Einstein wrote Rabbi Marcus and finally, the last chapter, the letter from the Rabbi that caused Einstein to repond.
Patrick Martin
Einstein and the Rabbi is a bit of a misleading title. The book is actually about neither subject directly. What it is about is how to help yourself grow emotionally and spiritually. Asking questions such as what is the soul? How does the soul connect? How do you recognize your soul and what it needs?

What I found was a very insightful book that delved into such questions in layman's terms so even the most religiously uninitiated can follow. It's not strictly a Jewish point of view but rather a
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Rachel Rosenheck
I am a recent widow, and found Levy’s book on grieving, To Begin Again, enormously helpful. This one explores the soul in a way that makes the concept and belief in the soul emotionally and intellectually accessible, i read it on Kindle , gave it to two friends, one who is a spiritual searcher and one who is a scientist, and it was equally meaningful to both. And now I’ve bought it in hard cover so that i can return to its wisdom and the prayers she offers.
Susan Rothenberg
The author, a rabbi, comes across a beautiful letter, written by Einstein in response to a letter from a rabbi, who was having difficulty dealing with the death of his young son. Using the letter as her beginning, Rabbi Levy writes beautifully about one's inner soul and the ways to connect with and strengthen it.
LouAnn
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was outstanding!! Any one wanting an explanation of how science and religion dovetail, this is your read! Naomi Levy describes the soul scientifically, religiously, and beautifully. I am going to buy this book and keep it as a reference for myself! Anyone soul searching due to a death or tragedy, please read this book.
Howard Dubin
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book delivers powerful messages in a very "listenable" manner. If you start the book, you'll finish it. I have been writing songs for over 50 years. Sometimes, everything comes so easily, it's actually fun and yet mysterious. After reading this book, I now know where those surprisingly accessible lyrics, melodies & harmonies come from. Searching for your soul? Read this book!
Michael Johnston
Naomi Levy speaks with a unique voice. One that believes deeply in the existence of the human soul and its almost mystical powers to guide the human journey. "Just listen to your soul" she might say about how to make tough decisions in our lives. Of course, finding that inner voice isn't easy and this book both provides an outline of what that voice can do you for you and how to find it within the cacophony of our every day lives.

The book was not exactly what I expected. It starts with a moving
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Rose
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Einstein and the Rabbi by Naomi Levy takes us on a journey to restoring our soul and hearing it's call.

There is a blessing that Jews say every morning, that I just learned. I've even been saying it throughout the day as well. I find it beautiful and it takes on new meaning after reading this book. It is called the Modah Ani. It goes as follows:

Modah Ani Lefanyich
Melech Chai Vekayom
Shehechezarta Bi Nishmati
Bechemla
Raba Emunatecha

I offer thanks to You,
living and eternal King,
for You have mercifu
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Steve
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a deeply moving book.

Levy is a rabbi who came across a letter written by Einstein to a rabbi following the death of the rabbi's son. The larger narrative relates to her research and interviews with contemporaries of the events which led to the letter. In short form, Einstein attempts to note how all the universe is one and we are all united in life.

Levy is a superlative writer who brings emotive context to every step in the mystery of living. There are profound moments of both insight an
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Kerrie Thompson Mohr
"A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'Universe, ' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings as something separate from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness..." --Albert Einstein

This is a beautifully written and composed book of stories and prayers, based on a letter correspondence between Rabbi Robert Marcus, an American Rabbi and Chaplain in WWII and Albert Einstein. The twist in the letter correspondence is that the R
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Cincylitigator
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Einstein quote that inspired this book is itself highly captivating but then to read or hear the inspiring story of the Rabbi to whom the words were directed is nearly overwhelming. Interwoven with this thrilling tale of the rescue of the Buchenwald boys by the hero Rabbi is the author’s own beautiful life story that leads to depths of spirituality. The author draws the conclusion that the ideas of the Rabbi and Einstein are wholly compatible and in accord. On this question I am not sure I a ...more
Derek
“Einstein and the Rabbi” was not even on my radar a few months ago, but I’m sure glad it found the top of my pile. Rabbi Naomi Levy’s profound philosophical exploration of the meaning and purpose of the soul, inspired by the famous correspondence between Albert Einstein and a grieving rabbi, is exhilarating, poignant, funny at times and sad as well. The narrative tugs at many different emotions simultaneously, and while the title might suggest otherwise you really don’t have to be Jewish to appr ...more
Donna Kass
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing book.

Rabbi Naomi Levy begins a journey searching for a letter written by Rabbi Robert Marcus to Albert Einstein after the death of his child. We have the reply which speaks of the oneness of the universe.

Through this search, we learn that Robert Marcus was there when Buchenwald was liberated after WWII, and how he made sure the surviving kids who were hidden in the camp learned how to begin the journey back to life. We learn that one of these children was Elie Wiesel.

While
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Laurie Mozian
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the author's reading of the book and the deeply personal insights that she shared. In my experience Judaism does not speak much about the soul , so often we are left to wonder and Rabbi Levy does a fine job of tying in the Hasidic teachings which often don't make it into the Reform or Conservative Jewish prayers services with the lives we live and makes the information accessible. I was not expecting a self help book and for sure this book is part that but also a great story about a qu ...more
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