About this book
Rabbi Jill Hammer has taken ancient Jewish mystical text and transformed it into a contemporary guide for meditative practice. In Return to the Place, Rabbi Hammer guides the reader through the story of creation as the ancient text of the Sefer Yetzirah draws readers in and invites them to become participants in the book’s vibrant incantations, bringing the Creator’s sacred energy into the world.
The Sefer Yetzirah is a creation story like none other, describing the creation of the world in cryptic, mystical, poetic text. Rabbi Jill Hammer has taken a fresh look at this text that scholars believe goes back to the third century CE, embracing this text with healing intention.
Through guided meditations at each step along the way, Rabbi Hammer allows readers to dig deeply into the text to experience the potential power of these ancient writings. Hammer builds a thought-provoking bridge from the past to the present—translating the text and focusing on its key aspects to give readers a relevant focus for contemplation.
Rabbi Jill Hammer’s Return to the Place: The Magic, Meditation, and Mystery of Sefer Yetzirah is a major event – both for the Jewish world and far beyond it. As in all her writing, teaching, and spiritual leadership, Rabbi Hammer here displays her unique combination of scholarly rigor, spiritual depth, ritual innovation, and poetic virtuosity. Rabbi Hammer, one of the most original religious guides of our time, opens up for us a text that has fascinated mystics and philosophers for more than a millennium – and yet has remained deeply mysterious. Return to the Place shows us that the Sefer Yetzirah is a “doorway into the deep structure of creation” – with the power to transform the cosmos as well as each person’s most intimate experience. She writes that her discovery of the Sefer Yetzirah made her feel she had “come home”; but her readers will feel that it is she who has given them a new “home” within the age-old traditions of Jewish and world spirituality.
Dr. Nathaniel Berman, author of Divine and Demonic in the Poetic Mythology of the Zohar