Click to learn about Repentance: The Meaning and Practice of Teshuvah, the newest book by Louis E. Newman.

What People Are Saying About Louis E. Newman's

Repentance: The Meaning and Practice of Teshuvah


“This book is a gem.  Not only will it have “legs,” but it will be up there with the great mussar texts.  Louis Newman's Repentance is part prayer, part poetry, part ethical mentoring, part autobiography, part halakha, part consciousness raising, part theological wrestling, part psychological insights. How did he manage to do all this?  One reason is that teshuvah” is a multifaceted, highly complex, actionable idea –  much more so than even its unreflective practitioners ever imagined.  Another is that Louis Newman possesses an intellectually rigorous mind, a generous heart, and a tender, tender soul.  He is also honest to the core.  I think that I will become a better person for having read, and reread, this book.  

— Blu Greenberg, author of On Women and Judaism

“Throughout this very well-written book one truth resounds:  Feeling fully alive requires a lifelong dedication to amending past hurtful actions, restraining harmful impulses, and always cultivating the fundamental goodness of our hearts so that we manifest the divine potential of loving compassion that is our birthright.”

— Sylvia Boorstein, author of That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist

“Professor Newman offers us an encyclopedic survey of Judaism’s most spiritually fecund idea: That it is ever-possible for a anyone and at any time to “Restore Default Configuration.” In easily accessible language that is both religiously and psychologically informed, Newman guides us through our own return. Don’t go to near the High Holy Days without this wise and inspiring moral classic.” 

— Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, author of Honey From the Rock and many other books on Jewish spirituality and mysticism

“This enlightening exploration of the moral, spiritual and interpersonal dimensions of teshuvah provides a rich introduction to Jewish texts and traditions alongside stirring insights from humanistic psychology.  Newman goes beyond providing a wonderful work of scholarship to give us a moving guide to personal transformation.”

— Rabbi David Teutsch, Director, Levin-Lieber Program in Jewish Ethics, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Widely known as a foremost Jewish voice in the field of ethics, Louis Newman now expands his purview to spirituality, and does so in his own masterful way: combining biblical and rabbinic wisdom with sophisticated analysis, yet presented in a touching and straightforward manner that requires no prior theological expertise on the part of readers. Neither soppy and banal nor turgid and technical, Newman appeals to our own intuitions and experience, to establish a specifically Jewish approach to an all too human predicament.

— Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, Barbara and Stephen Friedman Professor of Liturgy, Worship and Ritual, Hebrew Union College – JIR

“Louis Newman's Repentance reveals the inner workings of a profound Jewish tool for personal transformation. He leads through the steps of the journey we can all make from transgression to purity, from brokenness to wholeness. Bringing scholarship to the personal, this honest book both humbles and inspires hope in the same breath. Reading it, I felt my heart was purified.” 

— Alan Morinis, Director, Mussar Center

“Newman's insights about sin and repentance are a revelation. He reminds us that we need not wait until Yom Kippur to think about how we transgress and what we need to do to redeem ourselves. Reading Teshuvah: The Meaning and Practice of Repentance could change how we live, helping us to take the deep wisdom of Yom Kippur into our daily lives.”

— Rabbi Rebecca Alpert, Associate Professor of Religion and Women's Studies, Temple University

“Professor Newman's fine study of teshuvah is as impressive academically as it is personally moving. Drawing from a deep well of rabbinic and theological sources, he manages to circumscribe the difficult topic of sin and personal transformation without ever sounding "preachy." I believe this is because the author speaks from his own humble experience; he invites the reader along on a courageous spiritual journey and we enter the heart of this religious and ethical ideal together. This book reinvigorated my faith--in my capacity to change and in God's active partnership in that process.”

— Rabbi Tirzah Firestone is a Jungian therapist, and author of The Receiving: Reclaiming Jewish Women's Wisdom

“In Repentance, Dr. Newman has blessed his readers with insights into the frailty and divinity of the soul. With scholarly wisdom and great personal honesty, he takes us on a journey through the Jewish way of repentance.  Dr. Newman teaches us that the past can be transformed, the sinner can be reborn, the God of justice can become the God of forgiveness.  In short, he has given us the way of hope.”

— Rabbi Naomi Levy, author of To Begin Again and Talking to God