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Sacred Relationships

In the latter part of the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Ketuvim, one may find the world’s first how-to or self-help book, one that focuses on creating and sustaining human relationships. So says author Rabbi Michael Barclay, who unlocks these writings in a way that reveals new meaning and new relevance for our life with others. Working with ancient sources, Rabbi Barclay demonstrates how each book contains hidden pathways to having a personal, direct, and intimate encounter with God in every relationship and moment of life. He then takes this information, and guides us into using it to deepen our personal relationships with the people around us.
For example, in the book of Ruth we learn the value of attaching ourselves to a spiritual teacher. Through the Psalms, we learn how to transcend the primary emotions of grief, fear, and desperation, transforming them into joy and gratitude by recognizing God’s presence in al of our feelings.


Study groups, individuals looking for spiritual enrichment, and people who want to develop fuller and deeper personal relationships in every aspect of their lives will welcome this positive, practical and intriguing book.

Rabbi Michael Barclay is an author, consultant, and international lecturer, and the spiritual leader of Temple Ner Simcha in Westlake Village, CA. He has taught in the School of Theological Studies for Loyola Marymount University, and received the 2011 Distinguished Humanitarian Award from Bnai Zion Foundation. A teacher and guide, he has successfully bridged indigenous cultures, Judaism, and Western society, always looking to integrate ancient spiritual wisdom in modern circumstances.

Book Reviews


Michael Bernand Beckwith

Author of Life Visioning

“The books in the third section of the Bible are often inaccessible to people. Rabbi Barclay is a sure guide to the understanding of the text, but even more, he opens the door to insightful application of these sacred treasures to the life of the reader. To go with him, his book and Bible in hand, is a wonderful spiritual adventure.”


Rabbi Zalman Schachter

Author of Davening

“So wisely and tenderly written that the reading is a soul-delight. Rabbi Barclay uncovers our shared human longing to discern and align with the spiritual laws governing the universe, and to do the inner work required to profoundly interface with the Divine and one another.”


Christopher (Lord) Patten

Chancellor of the University of Oxford

“Rabbi Barclay’s book is a reminder of the golden threads which join so many different religions. This is particularly true of the Jewish and Christian faiths which share history and a sacred literature. This book will give spiritual comfort to many grateful readers.”


Irene Nowell, OSB

Benedictine of Mount St. Scholastica and adjunct professor of Scripture at Saint John’s School of Theology-Seminary, Collegeville, Minnesota

“Michael Barclay brings to this study of the Ketuvim the unique perspective of a Jewish rabbi who has taught in a Catholic university. He does a masterful job of blending scholarship and spirituality. His controlling insight that these biblical books show us how to ‘experience God in every relationship’ makes this book a valuable tool for learning how to live well.”


James Chukwuma Okoye

Director, Center for Spiritan Studies, Duquesne University

“Rabbi Barclay has opened a fresh and innovative approach to the Writings, one that draws from the rabbinic tradition, but also from the wisdom and mysticism of various religions.”


Prof. Zev Garber

Professor Emeritus and Chair of Jewish Studies and Philosophy, Los Angeles Valley College Editor of Shofar and Founding Editor of Shofar Supplements in Jewish Studies (Purdue)

“Refreshing engagement theology between pulpit and pew. Ideal for synagogue, church, and interfaith scriptural study and dialogue.”​

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