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Jewish identity can be seen using the imagery of a three level structure: bottom,

middle, and top. The psychodynamic school of psychology focused on the bottom

level of the human soul through the “light” of instincts, impulses, and passions;

the cognitive school focused on the middle level through the light of the intellect,

consciousness, and thinking; and the top level with the upper light – the spiritualmoral

dimension, on which this book focuses. The power of this light will enlighten

the other levels and the entire structure. Therefore, the main purpose of this study

is to identify the unique components of Jewish identity, those that form the top

level – the spiritual realm – in the new structure, and to highlight a different

aspect of this identity, in addition to the faces illuminated by the classical theories.

This is a very fine book which elucidates basic theoretical concepts as well as

practical issues. The author, professor Rafi Vaaknin has done a superb job in

synthesizing Judaic principals and psychological knowledge. He uses his knowledge

and understanding in creative ways which constitutes a major contribution to

psychology and education. Professor Aharon Rabinowitz, Bar Ilan University

This book provides a significant contribution to contemporary Jewish education,

clearly and scientifically presenting its main objectives and goals, while establishing an

impeccable psychological basis. The book discusses the stages of human development

from the “maternal experience” to the completion of adolescence, exploring the

dimensions of Jewish identity by reviewing the various approaches prevalent

today, while emphasizing parents’ responsibility in forming their children’s identity.

Professor Moshe Ahrend( z’l), Bar Ilan University

Professor Rafi Vaaknin is an educational-psychologist. He teaches psychology

and education at Herzog College in Jerusalem. In his teaching and

research, he developed a psychological reading approach of Jewish sources.

His other books are:

Educational Teaching: A Psycho-Educational Approach. (2000)

Issues in Adolescence. (2003)

A Fable of Education: Psycho-Pedagogical Readings of Aggadic and Midrashic

Narrative. (2008)

Your Heart’s Desire: A Look into the Soul in Aggada and Midrash. (2013)

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