Did Jewish monasticism end with the Therapeutae?
Is it possible to live a Jewish life if there are no other Jews living anywhere near you?
The "Cave of the Heart" (M'arat ha-Lev) is a short pamphlet (Kuntres) which I wrote in 2005 to consider these questions. It is in two distinct halves.
The first half is partly autobiographical and partly discursive, and examines some aspects of contemplative Jewish living. The second half is more reflective, and is principally the sharing of a simple method of contemplative prayer.
You can find the text of this kuntres on the sidebar links to the left under the header The Cave of The Heart. The section ends with a posting of the entire booklet for anyone who wants to print the whole thing off to read offline.
At the time of writing "The Cave of the Heart" I had absolutely no idea that the term was already famous in both the Hindu tradition and in several literary works of religious thought and art. It was simply the term that first came to me. A coincidence. These things happen!
The “Monthly updates” contain additional material on the same or related topics, sometimes including musical scores or illustrations from my own homemade prayerbook.
Shaking One's Lulav, Baby
The August posting (Jewish Hermits in the Desert) is recommended for readers wishing to see how my thoughts on Jewish monasticism and eremitism developed since I first wrote “The Cave”. It also contains some comments on desert spirituality….which might be of interest to anyone preparing for the festival of Sukkot which is just about to begin.
If you have not seen it before and you feel like a good laugh in this the "Season of our Joy"….check out this wonderful version of the Lulav ritual from SinaiMail.