“In Crossing the Boundary Alan Levin has assembled a group of spiritual teachers who show us that the deepest way to become authentically ourselves is to build connections with the variety of spiritual and religious traditions that we previously thought of as ‘other.’ A boundary crosser himself, Levin has much to teach all of us who seek to deepen our own spiritual lives.”
–Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor Tikkun and chair, the Network of Spiritual Progressives. Author of Jewish Renewal and The Left Hand of God – Healing America’s Political and Spiritual Crisis.
“In Crossing the Boundary, Alan Levin presents and demonstrates the restless spiritual curiosity and courage that distinguishes Jewish people everywhere. The ‘God Wrestlers’ interviewed here are not content with simply repeating prayers of the past but are part of the on-going struggle to discover the deepest highest truth alive today and imagine a sustainable tomorrow. Each unique personality, following their heart, discovered divinity that both altered and affirmed their original faith. Although meant as a study of identity, Crossing the Boundary is an affirmation of spiritual intelligence, resistance to easy answers, and universal love that renews the world.”
–Alex Grey, Artist, Author, Co-Founder CoSM, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors
“Alan Levin has written a thoroughly absorbing account of his interviews with fourteen spiritual teachers in a variety of traditions and how they have connected with as well as separated from their ancestral Jewishness. In our contemporary world men and women of Jewish family origin and religious upbringing have become not just practitioners but also teachers of Catholic, Sufi, Buddhist, Hindu, Wiccan, Shamanic, Taoist and Sikh spiritual doctrines and practices. These individuals have not rejected their Jewish tradition but built on it and integrated its essence into their chosen life-way. Surely this is a 20th century phenomenon: from the often gruesome persecution history of European Jewry has emerged a synergistic rainbow of spiritual teachings that honors the ancestral wisdom and devotion embedded in traditional Jewish religious life. This book offers rich and moving testimony to this unique historic process.”
–Ralph Metzner, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology, Emeritus,California Institute of Integral Studies Author, The Unfolding Self, and The Well of Remembrance.
“”This book is an engaging, illuminating discussion about spirituality and how it intersects (or doesn’t) with religion.”
-Sylvia Boorstein, meditation teacher and author of That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist and Happiness is an Inside Job.
“In an age in which increasing ethnocentrism has given rise to increasing violence, Alan Levin’s Crossing the Boundary provides us with a model of intercultural/interreligious encounter. While acknowledging our roots in tribal identities, Levin’s work marks out sacred space between and among a wide variety of spiritual traditions. His interviews with fourteen Jews who have found their spiritual home elsewhere shed light on a phenomenon that has sometimes been called “heresy” but which, in these moving accounts, is correctly portrayed as a journey of the spirit from which each tradition—indeed, each individual–learns from the other. This is a masterful work that deserves to be read by all who seek the light of the spirit in our troubled, divided world. ”
— Leonard Grob, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Fairleigh Dickinson University and co-editor of Encountering the Stranger: A Jewish-Christian-Muslim Trialogue and Anguished Hope: Holocaust Scholars Confront the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.
“This is an invitation to eavesdrop, openly and beneficially. Those of us who have become ever more aware, decade by decade, that migration is the story of human beings, in our time across borders of faith and community, this is a guided meditation to the heart of the experience. Exclusively focused on Jews who have crossed boundaries, or taken up residence in more than one house of spirituality, it still reads like a universal story. Alan Levin demonstrates a special knack for interviewing by listening closely. Though common themes weave their way through each exchange, themes of being Jewish, of experiencing anti-Semitism, wrestling with the occupation of Palestine, of using psychedelic enhancements to religious experiences, it is the interviewee who finally structures the report because the interviewer listens deeply. In the end Levin and his subjects answer the fundamental identity question, ‘Is it a ever heresy to be who we are?’ in one word, ‘never.'”
-Mark C. Johnson, Executive Director, The Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice
”Shakespeare said, ‘Know thyself and to thine own self be true.’ The root of our personal and world dilemma may be the fact that we don’t know who we are? The ego and wego (collective) identity is a lifetime study, and Alan demonstrates his skills of writer, student and teacher herein. His profound questions and personal contacts with the border crossers present many points to ponder.”
-Sister Dorothy Maxwell, O.P. (Dominican Order of Preachers)
“A beautiful contribution to religious spiritual life.”
-Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Director of Open Tent Shul of the Arts and Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence. Author of Trail Guide to the Torah of Nonviolence and She Who Dwells Within – A Feminist Vision of Renewed Judaism.