Yiddishe Kop: Creative Problem Solving in Jewish Learning, Lore, and Humor

Shambhala Publications

The Jews are known for their intuitive genius in getting out of a pickle. With their long history of persecution, they've developed a knack for escaping seemingly hopeless predicaments: when your back is against the wall, you learn to think fast. Centuries of reasoning and interpreting the Holy Scriptures have also contributed to the Jews' skill in solving the most puzzling problems. This astute way of thinking is known in Yiddish as yiddishe kop, literally "Jewish head."

Through Jewish humor, folklore, and tales of the great rabbis, Rabbi Nilton Bonder presents the basic principles of this creative approach to thinking, which sees beyond appearances to the hidden truth of any problem. Once these are mastered, they may in turn be applied to many "impossible" situations that arise in business and in life.

The book focuses on four levels of solving a problem:

   1. On the level of Information, we approach problems literally, in response to the obvious and the concrete.

   2. On the level of Understanding, we obtain concealed information through techniques such as questioning, reframing, and emptying the mind.

   3. On the level of Wisdom, we access the world of intuition, where a "fool" can achieve the impossible by relying on feelings, premonitions, dreams, and coincidences.

   4. On the level of Reverence, we discover the hidden Reality behind appearances. This is the realm of those who dare to take risks, make commitments, and learn from mistakes, who act out of their living experience without relying solely on reason and conceptual thinking.
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About the author

Rabbi Nilton Bonder was born in Brazil and ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He leads workshops on spirituality in management for such corporations as IBM, the Brazilian Oil Company, and the Federation of Industries of Sao Paulo. Rabbi Bonder is known in Brazil as the Green Rabbi for his activism in environmental causes. He also serves as president of the Institute for Religious Studies, the largest forum for civil rights activities in Latin America. Rabbi Bonder is the author of eight books, several of them best-sellers in Brazil.
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Additional Information

Shambhala Publications
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Published on
Jun 29, 1999
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Religion / Judaism / General
Religion / Judaism / Kabbalah & Mysticism
Religion / Judaism / Sacred Writings
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This book brings together the two major aspects of the Jewish myth the people of the Book and the wanderer to present an ancient concept of virtual reality. Drawing from Jewish mystical teachings, it speculates on possibilities to transcend reality by the use of special media. The longest exile in human history was responsible for shaping innovative prospects on linkage and space. Metaphors springing from the advent of widespread computer and Internet use offer new ways to understand rabbinic strategies for bonding in the lack of community and territory. They were able to devise means that can bring two or more places to be in the same site. Or as it was then called: "Jumping the Path".
In this piece of archeological science fiction, Rabbi Nilton Bonder connects traces left in the past of a sophisticated concept of web. This is a book about the birth of the notion of the "net" and the first attempts of being together, without necessarily being in one place. It is a book about the possibility that much more lies between illusion and reality, than we might suppose.
In a time when science was not capable of fostering imagination on the marvels of the universe, it was due to religion to manifest human speculations on wonder and awe. Nilton Bonder brings Jewish mystical texts and traditions of ancient times that can be better understood with our tools of communication and media such as the computer or the internet.
Was there a Windows 1751?
Were priests and prophets able to devise the principle of a net? Of a CWW , a Cosmic Wide Web?
Why was the ancient fiction interested not on Time Travel, but Space Travel, or as they called it, Jumping the Way?
From where could they have derived a concept of virtual reality?
What are the connections between virtual reality and the Messianic ideas as well as the Resurrection of the Dead?
These and some other fascinating questions are dealt in this book around mystical consideration on media and space.
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