Zvi: Yes and yes. Kedumah is always-already present. It is the vast space within which all phenomena arise. Certainly in the Jewish mystical tradition there were some people who were experientially intimate with this nonconceptual truth. At the same time, this kind of realization, and how to embody and integrate it into ordinary life in the context of our time, could not have been addressed by the ancients. They were relating to a different reality map that required different technologies. So you can say that Kedumah is both ancient and radically new at the same time.
M: How does this relate to what you call in the book "Rabbinic Judaism"? Or to a broader practice of Jewish Mysticism? Kabbalah?Zvi: Kedumah uses teachings and principles of Rabbinic Judaism, Jewish Mysticism, and Kabbalah in its approach to spiritual evolution and awakening. However, since Kedumah does not accept the binding nature of Jewish law, the authority of scripture, or hold any allegiance to tribe, it is operating from an altogether different paradigm than is Rabbinic Judaism. One way to understand Kedumah is as a radically new kind of Judaism, one that is universal and post-religious. Another way to understand Kedumah is as something altogether distinct from Judaism. A more accurate understanding is that it is both at the same time. I explore the relationship between Kedumah and Judaism in more depth in the appendix of the forthcoming book, so you can have a look there for more details. Ultimately, Kedumah is not concerned with how it is defined: its only concern is to expand our range of perception and to more fully embody our human potential.
M: How have others responded to Kedumah who are more institutionally inclined or more formally inclined towards Rabbinic Judaism?Zvi- I don't think such folks know much about Kedumah, since it has not been shared publicly yet. I'm sure I'll find out in the next few months once the book is released. However, while at first it may sound provocative to a traditional mindset, when understood correctly there is nothing in Kedumah that is at odds with traditional Jewish practice or belief. I think that traditionally observant Jews may find the approach outlined in Kedumah to be helpful since it describes ways to approach traditional practice with more depth and awareness. Likewise, serious practitioners of other traditions have also found Kedumah to be a powerful adjunct and support for their path, since it works to fine-tune the inner sense organs in a way that can enhance any practice. To be sure, also secular folks who identify as "spiritual-but-not-religious" or who are aligned with the emerging post-religion, post-ethnic, non-hierarchical, and non-binary paradigm, may find in Kedumah an approach that resonates with their innermost heart.M: Professor Zvi, thank you so much for your answers, and for giving us this introduction to Kedumah. I look forward to The Kedumah Experience: The Primordial Torah's upcoming release, take a look at some advanced praise!"This book is a treasure of the most profound Jewish mysticism ... which also, through Zvi Ish-Shalom's expert presentation, makes available for people of our time of all religious traditions."—Father Thomas Keating, founding teacher of the Centering Prayer movement and author of Open Mind, Open Heart.
"Captivating and touching ... readers from all backgrounds will find in this beautiful book a compelling invitation to explore the nature of the their experience."—Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, abbot of Dzogchen Monastery, president of Nalandabodhi, founder of Nītārtha Institute, and author of Rebel Buddha and Emotional Rescue.
“An exciting, inspiring, and ground breaking book. In these pages, Zvi frees the Torah from its social and cultural limitations so that, with him, we my see and appreciate the full measure of its sacred and universal truth. This book is important both for Jews, “practicing” and otherwise, and also for all people who are engaged in the spiritual quest.”—Reginald A. Ray, University Professor, Naropa University and Co-founder of Dharma Ocean Foundation. Author of Secrets of the Vajra World and Touching Enlightenment.
"This book is a lucid journey through the portals of human consciousness via a sparkling synthesis of Kabbalah and other forms of mystical praxis. An innovative, creative, and masterful combination of theory and practice that will inspire both beginner and expert alike."—Shaul Magid, Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Professor of Jewish Studies, Indiana University/Bloomington and author of American Post-Judaism