Forty Jewish Meditations
Very early in the morning or very late at night, when his duties as Chief Rabbi of France are less pressing, Gilles Bernheim writes. His nocturnal thoughts are usually inspired by a traditional text from Hassidic Judaism (the movement born in Eastern Europe in the eighteenth century to revitalise Judaism), and he comments on it very freely, with no concern for erudition or exegesis.
The texts here are often brief, like moments of repose in a life laden with responsibilities. Moments of repose that lead the reader, as they do the author, into a spiritual dimension, far more than a religious one – a dimension our lives are all too often lacking.
Gilles Bernheim has the prestigious agrégation qualification in philosophy and has been Chief Rabbi of France since 2008. He has always been very active in discussions with Christians. He is the author of Un rabbin dans la cité (Calmann-Lévy), Le souci des autres (Calmann-Lévy), and Le rabbin et le cardinal, with Gilles Barbarin (Stock), winner of the « Spiritualités d’aujourd’hui » prize.
Il s’agit là de textes souvent brefs, qui ressemblent à des moments de respiration dans une existence chargée de responsabilités. Moments de respiration qui conduisent le lecteur, comme leur auteur, dans une dimension spirituelle, beaucoup plus que religieuse, dont nos vies sont trop privées.