Torah Study: Peak Experiences in the Bible
The Bible has many references to important experiences associated with mountains: Moriah, Sinai, Nebo, Carmel, Tabor, and so on (most of them on the scale of hills). Here are four biblical themes associated with mountains and ascent:
Peak Experiences in Our Lives (Plus a Midrash)
“Peak Experience” is a term coined by Psychologist Abraham Maslow to describe the times of emotional transcendence in human life.
Moroccan Chant of Psalm 24
Going Up and Coming Down the Mountain
While most people have peak experiences at one time or another, there are two challenges: their rarity and their evanescence. Peak experiences may be rare and fleeting “highs” lost in the rush of events and the passage of time. But if we can integrate them as part of a spiritual practice, we can harness their power to inspire inner growth and outer change.
Moses’ Peak Experience, Beholding the Divine Presence
A Peak Experience on a Peak in Jerusalem
During one of my first visits to Jerusalem, on Tu Bishvat, the early spring New Year of Trees, my then fiance Avraham and I climbed the stairs to a rooftop on a building in Mount Zion, in the Old City.
Pilgrimage to Forgiveness
by Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan, Ph.D.
My husband and I are on a pilgrimage to Mt. Baker. (more…)
Tzedakah for Mountain People (and others)
People living in the Himalayan mountain range have the highest rates of blindness in the world. (more…)
Tzedakah for Spiritual Ascent
There is a Jewish mystical concept that by the merit of giving tzedakah (or learning Torah or doing a good deed) in memory of a loved one, we can help their soul ascend on its journey (aliyat ha-neshamah) in the next world.
Musar: Ethical Development as an Ascent
Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair says, “Heedfulness leads to cleanliness, cleanliness leads to purity, purity leads to separation, separation leads to holiness, holiness leads to modesty, modesty leads to fear of sin, fear of sin leads to piety, piety leads to the Holy Spirit, The Holy Spirit leads to the resurrection of the dead, and the resurrection of the dead comes from Elijah, blessed be his memory, Amen
Sharing Circle: Mountains
Have you had an experience of trial, vision, spirituality or exaltation in a mountain environment?
Have you had a “peak” experiences (at any altitude)? What was it like?
Do you have any practice or do anything to nurture peak experiences? If you have one, how do you bring it “down the mountain” into your everyday life?