The four relationships everyone should live through- Moments of the heart

Drawing upon more than three decades as a Jewish educator and leader, Moments of the Heart evolved from a series of weekly Facebook video messages to an inspiring book.

Dorice Horenstein, Israeli-born educator and author  (photo credit: Courtesy)
Dorice Horenstein, Israeli-born educator and author
(photo credit: Courtesy)

“Who doesn’t want to live wholeheartedly?” asks veteran Israeli-American educator Dorice Horenstein. Moments of the Heart is her “anytime” guide for uniting heart, mind, and soul through a Jewish lens that embraces the universal human experience in a fresh, informative way. A graceful balance of simplicity, clarity, and joy, it provides a guidepost to sit back and ponder the life anyone wants to lead going forward.
Within the context of Jewish thought and practice, this well-reasoned book examines the four chambers of the heart, mirroring the four types of human relationships: with ourselves, others, the Creator, and special life-defining moments.
While the heart is at the core of everything we do, life’s fast space often makes us forget to check in with our spiritual selves. Through conversational, blog-style chapters that make for an easy read, Horenstein takes us on an inspired journey of self-rediscovery where the answers can be found in our own hearts.
The author’s love of learning will make you a receptive student of her modern take on life, which she infuses with ancient Judaic wisdom and deeply felt kavanah. Along the way, Horenstein shares personal stories and a generous knowledge of Hebrew language, Jewish prayers, Talmudic law and Kabbalah.
Without ever sounding like a scholarly tract, the pages come alive as they enrich your understanding of how Hebrew words are formed and the meaning behind them. Rabbi Joseph Telushkin has particularly praised Horenstein’s analysis of the word matzpoon (conscience) and its relationship to matzpen (compass) and tzafoon (hidden), which all share the same root. Horenstein writes: “Knowledge of having these three Hebrew words connected means that we need to work hard to uncover what is hidden in our lives, then bring this discovery to the surface so it can guide us.”
Each brief chapter is followed by reflective, insightful questions (“Your Personal Lev Moment”) that make excellent conversation starters with family and friends – such as these for the aforementioned discussion of conscience, compass, and hidden: “Have you had a time in your life when you needed to go somewhere but your conscience resisted you? How did you convince yourself to do the right thing? Did you go to someone you trust to ask their advice? If a similar situation happens again, would you have a clearer direction?”
Individual letters are also studied. Horenstein notes that aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, shares the same root as the word aluf in Hebrew (“champion” or “general”). Closely examining aleph’s physical structure, she observes how it “encompasses not only the unity of God, but also the essence of God in each one of us, which can be translated as the soul [neshema]... We all have the godly gift of aleph inside... We all have the possibility of being a champion.”
Drawing upon more than three decades as a Jewish educator and leader, Moments of the Heart evolved from a series of weekly Facebook video messages that Horenstein posted every Saturday night to cheer up and inspire her younger sister Bruria, who was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer in 2014 and has since recovered.
While Bruria was fighting for her life in Israel, Horenstein found a meaningful way to support her from 10,000 miles away in Portland, Oregon. Born and raised in Israel, Horenstein served in the IDF before moving to Portland in 1986. Having taught more than 1,000 students in private and class settings and served as religious school director of a Conservative synagogue for 16 years there, Horenstein brings a passionate authenticity to this engaging collection of life lessons, made easily relatable for people of all beliefs and cultures.
An empowering road map with a lighthearted touch, Moments of the Heart is designed to be returned to again and again. Whether for soul-searching or daily reminders of how to live a life of gratitude, keep this uplifting book within reach. You’ll stay on an intentional, heart-centered path that renews your neshema — lifting your day from the mundane to the holy.