God at the Edge: Searching for the Divine in Uncomfortable and Unexpected Places
by Niles Elliot Goldstein
Here is a book about adventure, raw experience, and facing inner demons. Niles Elliot Goldstein is a young rabbi who sets out to find God in tough and often scary situations: dogsledding above the Arctic Circle, taking the Silk Road into Central Asia without a visa, being chased by a grizzly bear, cruising with DEA agents through the South Bronx, and spending a night in jail in New York City's Tombs. He explores the connections between struggle and growth, fear and transcendence, and uncertainty and faith, seeking the boundary where the finite meets the Infinite.
Goldstein is not alone in making this kind of pilgrimage. There has always been a strong tradition of seekers who looked for revelation outside conventional religious settings and encountered God in moments of anguish, terror, and pain. Goldstein juxtaposes his own experiences with those of some of the great historical figures of Judaism and Christianity - Jonah and St. John of the Cross, Moses Maimonides and Julian of Norwich, Nachman of Bratslav and Martin Luther - as well as lesser known mystics and preachers, and he discovers, as they did, that it can sometimes take a journey to the edge to recognize God's presence in our lives.