The December Project
34%
off

The December Project : An Extraordinary Rabbi and a Skeptical Seeker TakeAim at our Greatest Mystery

3.95 (171 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

A Jewish Book Award Finalist

In the tradition of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Last Lecture, New York Times bestselling author Sara Davidson met every Friday with 89-year-old Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi, the iconic founder of the Jewish Renewal movment, to discuss what he calls The December Project. "When you can feel in your cells that you're coming to the end of your tour of duty," he said, "what is the spiritual work of this time, and how do we prepare for the mystery?"

Davidson, who has a seeker's heart and a skeptic's mind, jumped at the chance to spend time with him. She'd long feared that death would be a complete annihilation, while Reb Zalman felt certain that "something continues." He said he didn't want to convince her of anything. "What I want is to loosen your mind." Through their talks, he wanted to help people "not freak out about dying," and enable them to have a more heightened and grateful life.

For two years, they met every week, and this is Davidson's memoir of what they learned and how they changed. Interspersed with their talks are sketches from Reb Zalman's extraordinary life. He barely escaped the Nazis, became an Orthodox rabbi in the US, was married four times and had eleven children, one from a sperm donation to a lesbian rabbi, and formed friendships with leaders of other faiths, such as Thomas Merton and the Dalai Lama. Breaking with the Orthodox, he founded the Jewish Renewal Movement to encourage people to have a direct experience of God.

During their time together, Davidson was nearly killed by a suicide bomb, and Reb Zalman struggled with a steep decline in health. Together they created strategies to deal with pain and memory loss, and found tools to cultivate simplicity, fearlessness, and joy--at any age. Davidson includes twelve exercises so that readers may experience what she did--a sea change in facing what we all must face: mortality.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 132.08 x 200.66 x 20.32mm | 158.76g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • HarperCollins
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0062281755
  • 9780062281753
  • 453,644

Review quote

"Sara Davidson caught the spirit of this many-sided man in her interviews, and she has transmitted his insights into how to live in the December stage of our lives to all those who read this book. I recommend this one wholeheartedly."--South Florida Jewish Journal
show more

Back cover copy

In 2009, New York Times bestselling author Sara Davidson was surprised by a call from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, asking her to engage with him in what he called "The December Project." At eighty-five, Reb Zalman wanted to teach people how to navigate the December of life and to help them "not freak out about dying."

Davidson jumped at the chance. She feared that death would be a complete annihilation, while Reb Zalman felt certain that "something continues." For two years, they met every Friday to discuss this and how getting "up close with mortality" quickens our ability to relish every day.

Woven through their talks are sketches from Reb Zalman's life: escaping the Nazis; becoming an orthodox rabbi in the U.S.; landing in San Francisco during the sexual revolution; taking L.S.D. with Timothy Leary; befriending other faith leaders, including Thomas Merton and the Dalai Lama; and founding the Jewish Renewal movement.

During their time together, Davidson was nearly killed by a suicide bomb and Reb Zalman faced a steep decline in health. They created strategies to deal with pain and memory loss and found tools to cultivate fearlessness and joy--at any age. Davidson includes twelve exercises so readers can experience what she did, a sea change in facing what we all must face: mortality.
show more

Rating details

171 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 36% (62)
4 33% (56)
3 23% (40)
2 6% (10)
1 2% (3)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X