Hasidism—a mystical branch of Judaism that is today the object of renewed interest—traditionally has as its leaders well-trained masters whose way of counseling their followers may be of interest to those in other helping disciplines. Sparks of Light examines the history and techniques of their advising people on the problems of everyday life—health, finances, family—as well as more spiritual concerns.
Schachter and Hoffman take a close look at the techniques of the Hasidic masters—dream interpretation, shock, problem solving, and the prescription of spiritual exercises to unlock the door of the mind. They also focus on such intriguing topics as how Hasidic masters are trained, the range of difficulties for which struggling Jews seek their help, the intuitive methods of counseling that are used, and the kinds of mystical and practical advice offered in response to life’s challenges. This book—based on original translations of Hasidic tales and writings, many never before translated—will appeal to those in the helping profession, as well as readers of Jewish history.