God at the Edge
Searching for the Divine in Uncomfortable and Unexpected Places
By Niles Goldstein
(Harmony, Paperback, 9780609804889, 224pp.)
Publication Date: April 24, 2001
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Here is a book about adventure, raw experience, and facing inner demons. Niles Elliot Goldstein is a young rabbi who sets out to find God in tough and often scary situations: dogsledding above the Arctic Circle, taking the Silk Road into Central Asia without a visa, being chased by a grizzly bear, cruising with DEA agents through the South Bronx, and spending a night in jail in New York City's Tombs. He explores the connections between struggle and growth, fear and transcendence, and uncertainty and faith, seeking the boundary where the finite meets the Infinite.
Goldstein is not alone in making this kind of pilgrimage. There has always been a strong tradition of seekers who looked for revelation outside conventional religious settings and encountered God in moments of anguish, terror, and pain. Goldstein juxtaposes his own experiences with those of some of the great historical figures of Judaism and Christianity -- Jonah and St. John of the Cross, Moses Maimonides and Julian of Norwich, Nachman of Bratslav and Martin Luther -- as well as lesser known mystics and preachers, and he discovers, as they did, that it can sometimes take a journey to the edge to recognize God's presence in our lives.
Niles Elliot Goldstein is the founding rabbi of The New Shul in New York City's Greenwich Village. He lectures widely on Jewish mysticism and spirituality and has served on the faculty of New York University and the Hebrew Union College -- Jewish Institute of Religion. Goldstein was the voice behind "Ask the Rabbi" on the Microsoft Network and can now be reached at "Ask Rabbi Goldstein" at www.ifaith.com. He is also the National Jewish Chaplain for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. His essays and poetry have appeared in Newsweek and many other publications, and he is the author or editor of four previous books.