Longing for the Blessing

In poetry and prose, psychologist and dream scholar Judith Schmidt plumbs the depths of the stories in the Torah portion named Toldot, “Generations.” Her midrashic (aggadic / narrative) imaginings yield new insights into familiar figures, and her interweaving of Torah with family history illuminates how our Torah stories are always about our ancient spiritual ancestors and also about us.

This is the second edition of a book originally published by Time Being Books in 2013, now with a new introduction by the author.

$20 USD. Now available!

About the Author

Judith Sarah Schmidt PhD is a clinical psychologist.  She is co-director of the Center for Intentional Living. Judith studied Waking Dream Therapy with Mme. Colette Aboulker-Muscat in Jerusalem and also works with grief and trauma. Judith is a poet and prose writer, presently writing personal responses to the weekly parsha, her way of bowing to her ancestors. Her poems and articles are published in a variety of journals.  She is author of In the Garden of Love and Loss: A Year-Long Spiritual Guide Through Grief.

Praise from Readers

As Judith Schmidt allows the characters in this story to speak through her, I, too, feel swept into the story and I feel the presence of my own ancestors. This is a remarkable book written by one who obviously knows how to deeply listen. — Phyllis Luberg

I have now read Judith Schmidt’s Longing for the Blessing four times. Why? Because like reading a Torah portion, each visit reveals a deeper layer of meaning and insight en route to extracting the essence of the text… Each piece in this collection is a fragment – a story, a poem, a midrash, a reverie. And yet they cohere into an evocative whole, connected by spiritual longing, poetic insight, and additional themes that thread through the layers…’If you come to meet me in all of my complexity, you will be sure to meet your own self.’ That is the invitation of Torah; and that is the invitation of this poetic, profound offering from a master psychotherapist, spiritual teacher and writer who has done the work and offers what she has learned as a gift. Wrestle with this book. It’s worth the effort. — Linda

Praise for the First Edition

Judith Schmidt’s bold and original poetic meditations on the Biblical stories in the Torah portion of Toldot will surprise you with their subtle psychological insights and inspire you with their fresh and spiritually mature midrashic interpolations. The book will change the way we read these stories forever; its imaginative poetic gifts will enlighten readers and also challenge them to make the Torah portion their own. –Lawrence Besserman, Professor of English, Emeritus The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

To enter Judith Sarah Schmidt’s stunningly profound and beautiful Longing for the Blessing, her refl ections on the section of the Torah called Toldot, is to become intimate with words of Torah, dream images, the collected insights of over a thousand years of religious commentary, contemporary psychology and literature and personal memories. Through these words and images you enter into the soul of Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Esau, as well as of her great-grandfather Judah, and of Judith herself. Through these images you deeply understand and love them, their faith, their prayers, their struggles and triumphs. In their light, you see your own. –Rabbi Rachel Cowan, Co-founder of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality

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