1. Overview

Daily life is a spiritual sport, a struggle to best ourselves and to realize our highest purpose. Running with Two Souls draws from the sacred texts of Jewish mysticism and from the world of competitive sports to offer a new and comprehensive guide to understanding life’s struggles. Where do these challenges come from? What is their purpose? How can we meet our daily struggles and achieve our personal and spiritual goals?The bookis unique in bringing together two seemingly opposite worlds—spirituality and competitive sports—to show how essential principles, strategies, and tools from athletics can be applied to the soul.

The book’s title comes from the fundamental idea in Kabbalah that each of us has not one, but two souls. One of these souls contains an inner opponent, a specific counterforce that’s custom-made to challenge us. There is a daily battle between these two souls to gain control over our thoughts, speech, and actions. As a result, we experience an ongoing spiritual challenge where life on earth involves a dual between two forces, within us and within the universe. By understanding the nature and rules of this conflict, we can learn how to manage our everyday struggles.

The book is not only a practical guide; it is also an original presentation of some of the most vital ideas from the Jewish mystical tradition. For a long time, these abstract and profound concepts addressing the fundamental questions of existence—how did we get here? what are we doing here?—were only available to and grasped by a select few. Times have changed. Now these ideas are much more available, but they are not always well explained (in personal and daily life terms) or organized for the general public.

 

Kabbalistic and mystical ideas flood the Internet, and people either do not know what is authentic, or seldom come away with anything tangible to implement. Consequently, they cannot appreciate the depth and relevance of these subjects. One of my main objectives is to convey some very rich concepts in Judaism to a broad audience, and to do this in a unique and creative way so that as many people as possible can benefit from them.

 

Running with Two Souls will make these profound, abstract, and once-concealed ideas lively and accessible. It will offer fresh insight into the most frequently asked questions about our existence and our purpose. The book will look at areas of daily life that all of us wrestle with—uncertainty, sadness, prayer, relationships, motivation, and many more—and describe new approaches to mastering them. My aim is to offer an alternative explanation of struggle and a guide to spiritual and personal success.

I believe that I am in a unique position to write this book. I have studied these mystical ideas intensely, for many years, under several remarkable scholars and teachers. I grew up in a non-observant background, playing competitive sports, and have also taught and collaborated with elite athletes, so am very familiar with the culture and language of this world. I have spent the past decade testing, refining, and writing about the concepts in this book, and teaching them to a diverse group of students. I do not believe there are many individuals who are as well acquainted with both the world of sports and Kabbalah. I feel that I can use my knowledge and experience to bring these powerful ideas to more people, in a more tangible and lasting medium.