Our Immoral Soul: A Manifesto of Spiritual Disobedience



A treatise on when and why to heed your soul's transgressive instinct, with examples drawn from biblical history and Hasidic lore.

Rabbi Bonder turns a few conventional ideas on their heads as he identifies the forces at play in individual, social, and spiritual transformation. Many people believe that obedience to the established moral order leads to the well-being of society as well as the salvation of their souls. On the contrary, says Bonder, the human spirit is nourished by the impulse to betray and transgress the ways of the past. Even the Bible legitimizes our God-given urge to disobey in order to evolve, grow, and transcend. It is this "immoral" soul of ours that impels us to do battle with God--and out of this clash, Bonder predicts, a new humanity will emerge. In the course of discussion, he examines a variety of intriguing issues touching on religion, science, and culture, including the findings of evolutionary psychology; the relation of body and soul; infidelity in marriage; the stereotype of Jew as traitor; sacrifice and redemption in Judaism and Christianity; and the Messiah as archetypal transgressor.

Product Details

Publish Date
February 11, 2014
5.4 X 0.5 X 8.3 inches | 0.35 pounds

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About the Author

RABBI NILTON BONDER was born in Brazil and ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He leads one of Brazil's most influential Jewish congregations and is also active in civil rights and ecological causes. He has led workshops on spirituality in management for such corporations as IBM and the Brazilian Oil Company and has delivered lectures worldwide, including at Boston University, New York Central Library, the Omega Institute, the Jewish Museum in Prague, and a United Nations peace conference. He is the author of eighteen books, several of them best sellers in Brazil.