Cover image for Hasidic tales : annotated & explained
Hasidic tales : annotated & explained
Shapiro, Rami M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Woodstock, Vt. : SkyLight Paths Pub., [2004]

Physical Description:
xl, 193 pages ; 22 cm.
General Note:
"The legendary tales of the impassioned Hasidic rabbis--with facing-page commentary that brings the text to life for you"--Cover.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BM532 .S485 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The Tales of the Hasidic Masters Can Become a Companion for Your Own Spiritual Journey.

"The wisdom of the Hasidim is earthy, realistic, rooted in the simplicity of the heart. It is alive with the awareness of the holiness of Creation and the boundlessness of God's mercy, and is utterly honest about the necessity of living such awareness in loving service to all beings. It is a wisdom that fuses the highest mystical initiations with the most down-home celebration of life and a rugged commitment to social and political justice in all its forms. In other words, it is a wisdom that is never, as my old prep school headmaster would put it, "too divine to be of any earthly use."
--from the Foreword by Andrew Harvey

Martin Buber, author of Tales of Hasidim, was the first to bring the Hasidic tales to life for modern readers in the middle of the twentieth century. His groundbreaking work was the first time that most readers had ever encountered the lives and teachings of these profound and enigmatic spiritual masters from Eastern Europe.

In Hasidic Tales: Annotated & Explained, Rabbi Rami Shapiro breathes new life into these classic stories of people who so marvelously combined the mystical and the ordinary. Each demonstrates the spiritual power of unabashed joy, offers lessons for leading a holy life, and reminds you that the Divine can be found in the everyday. Without an expert guide, the allegorical quality of Hasidic tales can be perplexing. But Shapiro presents them as stories rather than parables, making them accessible and meaningful. Now you can experience the wisdom of Hasidism firsthand even if you have no previous knowledge of Jewish spirituality. This SkyLight Illuminations edition offers insightful yet unobtrusive commentary that explains theological concepts, introduces major characters, offers clarifying references unfamiliar to most readers and reveals how you can use the Hasidic tales to further your own spiritual awakening.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

This volume is another entry in Skylight Paths' valuable Annotated & Explained series, which has included, thus far, spiritual sources such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Gospel of Thomas. A congregational rabbi and author, Shapiro (Minyan; Wisdom of the Jewish Sages) provides an excellent introduction and anthology of exemplary tales from the Hasidic tradition: he well understands the paradox, wit, and irony inherent in the teaching style of the Hasid. As he reminds us in the introduction, one of the crucial strands of the Jewish faith is its ability to carry forward its ideas in memory and story, and, among the Hasids, anecdotes, fables, and fragments of biography are alive with meaning. Highly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Andrew Harvey
Forewordp. vii
Prefacep. xv
Introductionp. xxi
Hasidism, a Brief Introductionp. xxvii
Cast of Rabbisp. xxxiii
Distractionsp. 3
Why Are You Here?p. 5
Know Your Pathp. 7
Idle Speechp. 11
Ten Lettersp. 13
Lightp. 15
Hospitalityp. 17
Deeds Not Wordsp. 21
Seeking a Precedentp. 25
A Kosher Tonguep. 27
A Recipe from Heavenp. 29
A Hidden Tzaddikp. 31
The Successorp. 33
You Are What You Thinkp. 37
Horse Sensep. 41
Receive and Detachp. 43
Nothing Newp. 45
The Sermonp. 47
The Frog's Songp. 49
Come with Mep. 51
Why Cry to Me?p. 55
Show Mep. 57
The Hidden Sparkp. 59
Nothingp. 61
The New Rebbep. 63
Eating in the Presence of Godp. 65
Avoiding the Mudp. 67
The Alphabet of Sorrowp. 69
A Healing Brothp. 71
A Holy Appetitep. 73
Seeing or Believingp. 77
To Be an Angelp. 81
Placing the Selfp. 83
Direct Seeingp. 85
The Prophetic Squirep. 87
Salvation Nowp. 89
Ask Yourselfp. 91
A Leather Beltp. 93
Hard Workp. 95
Fooling the Evil Inclinationp. 97
Alien Invadersp. 101
Salvation through Joyp. 103
The Tailor's Duep. 105
The Rebbe's Lovep. 109
The Value of Wisdomp. 111
The Making of a Rebbep. 113
Without a Doubtp. 115
Two Yids, Two Yudsp. 117
Knowingp. 119
Partnersp. 121
What I Deservep. 123
Good Night Godp. 125
Stone Soupp. 127
Livelihoodp. 129
The Loaf's Complaintp. 131
Nothing but Godp. 133
Praying with the Worldp. 135
A Kiss Good-Byep. 137
Praying with, Praying amongp. 139
Stick Angelsp. 141
The Connoisseurp. 143
Bursting the Gatesp. 145
Perfect Repentancep. 147
The Value of Sinp. 149
A Four-legged Esrogp. 151
The Better Legp. 153
Two Rulesp. 155
A Powerful Silencep. 157
The Leafp. 159
Rules of the Gamep. 161
Time to Visitp. 163
Selfless Servicep. 165
Robbing Yourselfp. 167
Until Our Completionp. 169
The Turkey Princep. 171
The Whistlerp. 173
The Child and the Thiefp. 175
You!p. 177
Your Wayp. 179
Learn from Everythingp. 181
True Prayerp. 183
The Remindererp. 185
Finding the Wayp. 187
A Betp. 189
Where Am I?p. 191
Suggested Readingsp. 193
About SkyLight Pathsp. 194