Caryn and Andy Lipson
We came to Israel in September 2010, looking for a greater sense of spirituality than we felt we could realize in America. I had no idea that meditation was not only Jewish, so seeing the notice posted on the Nefesh B’Nefesh Yahoo group about Rabbi Dr. Natan Ophir’s meditation seminars so soon after we had arrived in Israel, we were already beginning to find it!
Hava Yael Schreiber
Medical MD, gynecologist
Oct. 12, 2008
Thank you so much!
I want to tell you that you really changed my life!!!!
I started to exercise in the morning and then meditate, it was great! I did succeed in “getting there” as I was more relaxed after the physical work-up. Yesterday I felt like floating up in the air. I was so light that I did not feel my body anymore….. I was in a state of pure joy the whole day! I performed a Cesarean section (difficult, a third one). All went beautiful. I am telling you, since Rosh Hashana (where I davened by the Carlebach Mynian at Netz), I feel such an elevation, inspiration… like I am walking with Hashem!
Thank you again!
Fran is a retired pediatric occupational therapist, caregiver and healer in Florida.
Jan. 9, 2009
“Rabbi Dr. Natan Ophir’s groundbreaking work links his rare expertise in both ancient Jewish mystical traditions and modern sciences leading even a sporadic, novice mediator like myself, to have an enhanced understanding and experience of the metaphysical. I wish his work could be broadcasted so more people could benefit from the breathe and scope of his rare combination of skills and abilities!”
Nurse at Kupat Holim Clalit, Talpiot, Jerusalem
Feb. 11, 2009
“I had the most meaningful season of hagim this year and I am sure it is because of what I received from the meditation classes during Elul and before Yom Kippur”.
Prof. Vera Schwarcz
Director/Chair, Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut
JEWISH MEDITATION WITH NATAN OPHIR: AN EXPERIENCE OF IN-DEPTH LEARINING & SPIRITUAL INSIGHT
As a long time China scholar and writer about Jewish cultural memory, I am very familiar with many kinds of Asian meditation. I recall well my encounter with the Dalai Lama in 1999 when he visited Israel to learn about Jewish spiritual survival techniques and I was teaching graduate students in Chinese history at Hebrew University. At one point, the Dalai Lama was challenged by a member of the audience: “Why do you steal our children?” Clearly, this person was referring to the many “JuBu”s—highly educated (often well heeled) Jewish young men and women who are taken by and support Tibetan Buddhist institutions in the West. The Dailai’s answer rings powerfully in my ears even today: “If only you were to open to them the deep wellsprings of your tradition, they would have nothing to learn from me!”
This is exactly what Rabbi Dr. Natan Ophir (Offenbacher) is doing with his courses on Jewish meditation. He is building upon his own extensive experience with Torah learning, Kabala and neuropsychological research to launch a truly path-breaking approach to practical Jewish meditation. I discovered his courses at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem on a recent visit and left greatly enriched by the sources, group meditation and suggestions for follow-up practice at home. Each session with Dr. Ophir was grounded in key Jewish texts, many of them translated by him personally with powerful new insights. After being introduced to various, skillfully compiled readings in both Torah and science, our classes proceed to actual meditation. These classes have utterly transformed my personal daily experience with tefilah, with the commandment to love a fellow Jew as oneself, and even with the simple act of eating.
Having met many Asian teachers of meditation and many Torah scholars who sanction mediation based on the work of R. Aryeh Kaplan, I found Rabbi Ophir’s approach more insightful, more practical—simply deeper while being utterly non-dogmatic. My husband (a research biologist) and I came back from Jerusalem in agreement that our meditation courses with Natan were the best, most enriching part of our Israel journey.