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Rabbi Emeritus, Elie Kaplan Spitz

Rabbi Spitz joined Congregation B'nai Israel in 1988 and is a caring mentor and a scholar. His vision and leadership enabled CBI to grow and thrive. In 2021 he moved into his current role as Rabbi Emeritus.

He has served as a member of the Rabbinical Assembly Committee of Law and Standards (1994-2004; 2008-2016) and as a Global Justice Fellow for the American Jewish World Service (2016-2017). A graduate of The Jewish Theological Seminary and Boston University School of Law, Rabbi Spitz is the author of four books and many articles dealing with spirituality and Jewish law.  He has taught the philosophy of Jewish law at the American Jewish University and taught at the Wilkinson College, Religious Studies Department at Chapman University. He lives in Tustin, California with his wife, Linda; they are the parents of Joseph, Jonathan and Anna Rose.

Click here to see Rabbi Spitz's curriculum vitae
Click here to see Rabbi Spitz's sermons
Click here to see Rabbi Spitz's Psalm a Day videos
Click here to see Rabbi Spitz's blog
Click here for Small Group materials
Click here for Rabbi Spitz's material on "Sleep"
Click here for guided meditations with Rabbi Spitz

Increasing Wholeness: Jewish Wisdom & Guided Meditations to Strengthen & Calm Body, Heart, Mind & Spirit. Jewish Lights Publishing, 2015.

Increasing Wholeness Book Image

Balance and integrate the components of your inner life in order to become more present, joyful and effective.

“At our best, we may experience a taste of completeness infused with gratitude that prompts expressions of compassion and justice. At our best we are most alive: loving those around us and transcending our own personal needs, attuned to a caring, dynamic Presence intertwined with the whole of creation. The goal of this book is to enable you to live more frequently at your best.” —from the Introduction

In a multitasking culture, we often are distracted from attending to what is most significant in our lives. Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz, a widely respected teacher and spiritual guide, shows how to nurture the four components of the inner life—body, heart, mind and spirit—in order to embrace your whole self. Rabbi Spitz brings timeless wisdom into the modern age, combining Jewish texts and traditions with contemporary psychology and world spiritual writings. This book is for everyone—Jews and non-Jews, experienced meditators and novices—yearning for greater inner calm and strength so as to more fully enjoy life, effectively relate to others and enhance spiritual awareness and connection.

Click here to buy this book
Information and materials on "40 Days to Becoming Your Best" - Salons to grow relationships and meaning
Interview with OC Jewish Life
Review in Kehilla Magazine

Does the Soul Survive: A Jewish Journey to Belief in Afterlife, Past Lives & Living with Purpose. Jewish Lights Publishing, 2000.

Soul Survive Book Image

Near-death experiences? Past-life regression? Reincarnation? Are these sorts of things Jewish?

With a blend of candor, personal questioning, and sharp-eyed scholarship, Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz relates his own observations and the firsthand accounts shared with him by others, experiences that helped propel his journey from skeptic to believer that there is life after life.

From near-death experiences to reincarnation, past-life memory to the work of mediums, Rabbi Spitz explores what we are really able to know about the afterlife, and draws on Jewish texts to share that belief in these concepts–so often approached with reluctance–is in fact true to Jewish tradition.

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Healing from Despair: Choosing Wholeness in a Broken World. Jewish Lights Publishing, 2008.

Healing from Despair Book Image

Are you: Feeling anxious? Feeling depressed because of the loss of health, a relationship or a job? Grieving the loss of a loved one? Grieving loss by a suicide? Feeling hopeless? Concerned about a friend who has suicidal thoughts?

This wise and helpful resource explores the nature of personal suffering and brokenness and the potential for personal crisis as a source of strength and renewal instead of despair and death. Examining the personal journeys of biblical and historical figures such as Moses, Maimonides, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Buber–as well as the author’s own personal experience with despair–it looks at brokenness as an inescapable element of the human condition. It traces the path of suffering from despair to depression to desperation to the turning point–healing–when firsthand knowledge of suffering can be transformed into blessing.

Whether you have encountered despair and depression personally–through illness, loss, trauma or betrayal–or you know someone who is struggling with brokenness, this book will provide an informative, safe and comforting look at the nature of despair and the ways you can overcome it.

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Sun, May 19 2024 11 Iyyar 5784