Jewish spirituality at meditation retreats across the world

“Meditation was something I was aware of, but I hadn’t engaged in it at all at that time,” Jacobson-Maisels says.

Spirituality together on a recent retreat (photo credit: Courtesy)
Spirituality together on a recent retreat
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels is not a guru, or a mystic sitting cross-legged atop a mountain. He is a man who believes deeply in the human capacity for compassion, particularly self-compassion; for growth, and for uncovering our truest nature. In this way, perhaps we can be free from suffering. Perhaps amid the hustle and bustle of a world ever-busier and more frenetic, we might find some peace and an inner sanctuary of loving awareness.
This was Jacobson-Maisels’s belief when he founded Or HaLev in 2011 with fellow spiritual seeker, meditation practitioner and teacher, Danny Cohen. Since its founding, Or HaLev has engaged over 2,000 people in Jewish spiritual practice. So in a sense, it’s quite possible that Jacobson-Maisels is indeed a guru – the secondary definition of the word being “an influential teacher.” It is thus equally possible that Jacobson-Maisels is a mystic, “a person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with the divine.”