The Thirteen Petalled Rose: A Discourse on the Essence of Jewish Existence and Belief


"This little book is a book for the soul. It begins, quite deliberately (and perhaps to the dismay of some readers), with a view of another reality. It does not proceed from this world?. Instead, it seeks to go from the genuine center of all being to the world and to human life?If a person permits his soul to listen, the soul will soon learn that all it needs to do is remember. Because in some dim and enigmatic way, it already knows all this."

--From Rabbi Steinsaltz's Introduction (1992) 

The opening lines of the Zohar use the image of a "thirteen petalled rose" as an allegory for Knesset Yisrael ? the community of Israel.  In Rabbi Steinsaltz's book of the same title, he breathes life into the blossoming Rose of mystical lore by offering readers a true encounter with Kabbalah.

For more than twenty-five years, The Thirteen Petalled Rose has guided readers in the quest for answers to their fundamental questions about the nature of existence in God's universe.  The reissue of The Thirteen Petalled Rose in expanded form (Basic Books, 2006) over a quarter-century after its initial publication indicates that this "little book?for the soul" continues to resonate with spiritual seekers who are, as Rabbi Steinsaltz writes, "living in a world that is becoming more and more material."

The Thirteen Petalled Rose explores the man-God relationship through the lens of profound topics like good and evil, Divine revelation, the human soul, holiness, ethical ways of life, the Torah and its commandments, the search for the self, and the nature of spiritual worlds and their relationship to the physical.  The expanded edition also features a new preface by the author, as well as new chapters on the Kabbalistic view of prayer and devotion (click here to read Rabbi Steinsaltz's elaboration on this chapter in the Houston Jewish Herald-Voice) and an analysis of Elijah the Prophet's Introduction to the Zohar.

Rabbi Steinsaltz's vast knowledge of science, psychology, mysticism, and philosophy come together in The Thirteen Petalled Rose as he translates into an intelligible language for the modern reader the ancient concepts of Kabbalah.

To read an excerpt from The Thirteen Petalled Rose on the idea of divine manifestation, click here.

You can also read about repentance, as presented by Rabbi Steinsaltz in The Thirteen Petalled Rose, by clicking here.

Click here to read Rabbi Steinsaltz's explanation of the Kabbalistic significance of the Sabbath eve Kiddush ritual, excerpted from The Thirteen Petalled Rose.

Get your copy of the 2006 reissue of The Thirteen Petalled Rose today - click here to order!