“Attached is a beautifully written and practical book that addresses basic questions about faith and developing a deep relationship with God, embedded in the wisdom of Torah, Chassidus, and relevant psychological theories… In a world filled with pain and confusion, this book offers an anchor of faith filled with light and beauty.”
– Dr. David Pelcovitz
“The book’s profound yet practical wisdom will inform, inspire, and encourage each of us to seek the path of deveikus (attachment).”
– Rabbi Moshe Weinberger
“The true secret of healthy human attachment is that it contains the power and potential to elevate man beyond his self-centered focus. It is, therefore, the key to becoming other-centered and to unlocking a meaningful relationship with the Divine. This is a book worth reading for those whose journey is directed toward a loving, present relationship with God.”
– Rabbi Shimon Russell, LCSW
“The author presents a detailed guide to achieving a true relationship with God… I found this work, although deep and philosophical, easily understandable and offering practical advice. I recommend this work to all those seeking to upgrade and intensify their relationship with the Almighty.”
– Rabbi Zev Leff
This book is a must read for anyone looking to develop and grow their relationship with god. Beautifully written with relatable advice and examples, I highly recommend it.
Yaakov Klein –
We talk about Him. We think about Him. We pray to Him. We study His Will. We follow His guidelines in our thoughts, words, and actions. But even among those of us who make an effort to love Him, fear Him, and live with steady consciousness of His Presence, precious little opportunity is granted to exploring what may well be the most important topic in religious life: who is Hashem? What is the true identity of this Being to whom we are so devoted?
In his beautiful, eye-opening, and remarkably accessible book “Attached”, my dear friend Rabbi Yakov Danishefsky, LCSW shlita takes us by the hand and walks us – heart aflutter and with tear-filled eyes – toward a lucid encounter with our Beloved. Building upon the premise that the ultimate intention of a Torah-committed life is the forging of a deeply authentic relationship with Hashem, Rabbi Danishefsky serves as shadchan, dating coach, mesader kedushin, marriage counselor, Rav, and relationship therapist to help the three stated audiences for whom the book was written (those who have “not yet met Hashem”, those who have “broken up” with Hashem, and those who are interested in “reviving” their current relationship) to discover, or rediscover, a radically fresh, healthy, intimate, relevant, and deeply attractive vision of Hashem and Jewish spirituality as a whole.
In Eighteen chapters of flowing prose, we discover the crucial need of “attachment”, the possibility of sensing an Infinite Presence within our immediate experience of finitude, how to balance awareness of Hashem and our perception of the physical world, and how to know if we are in the “right” relationship with God. We learn how the Torah comprises of the five love languages popularized by Gary Chapman, the way in which Hashem reveals His vulnerability, the validity of expressing anger and frustration toward Hashem, the importance of “rituals of connection”, and the way religious doubt can paradoxically serve as a powerful catalyst for connection. Finally, we explore sin and repentance through this wonderful new paradigm and are guided through healing “avoidant” and “anxious” attachment styles in a bid to access “secure” attachment with Hashem – true devekius.
One of the many gleaming facets of this literary gem is the unique perspective Rabbi Danishevsky brings to the conversation about healthy engagement with avodas Hashem as a result of his many years of clinical work with the frum community. Being able to read case studies from within our own circles, stories which reflect the unique nuances of the Torah-committed mindset and experience, helps to normalize the challenges many of us are facing and reinforces the notion that rediscovering Hashem and His Torah through the lens of “deveikus” can have real-world implications far more comprehensive than upping the quality of our religious experience alone.
Another facet is the dazzling range of sources from which Rabbi Danishefsky draws his source material – from Yalom to Rebbe Nachman, Rav Soloveitchik to Thoreau, Rambam to Rav Kook – and his uniquely insightful interpretation and application of their words, revealing deeper levels of meaning from beyond the surface of even their more popular teachings.
A third is the rare gift of vulnerability Rabbi Danishefsky grants his readers by including a few glimpses into his own journey with spirituality and mental health. In addition to these anecdotes making it very clear that the author’s relationship with the path he presents is far deeper than an academic interest, he also does the community a service in a broader sense, by “widening the doorway” so that other public figures can feel safe sharing their challenges and recognize the power and importance of doing so.
Perhaps the most brilliant feat Rabbi Danishefsky accomplished in “Attached” is his ability to present a comprehensive approach to Jewish spirituality in all of 145 pages (the numerical value of “Hakeim”, which means to “help the fallen rise once again” – exactly what this slim book accomplishes so wonderfully.) Somehow, with great talent and siyata d’Shmaya, our author managed – as Reb Zusha said about the Alter Rebbe upon seeing his masterwork, the sefer haTanya – to “fit a very great God into a very small book.” The result is an brief and eminently readable book of which every line – and this is particularly true of the rich and thought-provoking endnotes which adorn each chapter – is bursting with quality, intention, precision, and a gentle power that is truly transformational.
I couldn’t recommend this book highly enough. As the newest member of a burgeoning genre of Torah literature devoted to portraying a geulah-oriented path toward a closeness with Hashem rooted in vulnerability, health, depth, sweetness, compassion, and authenticity, may this beacon of hope and illumination bring us that much closer to the rectification of our world and the coming of Moshiach tzidkeinu.
Crystal Edwardson –
As a teenager, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s framing that we as #Jews engaged in a “romance with the Creator” resonated with me. I was always the type of kid who got angry at God, talked to God and connected to God.
But many people, especially Modern Orthodox individuals, don’t share my experience of God. Whether because they received a too cerebral version of #Judaism or a watered-down, inauthentic version, they see God as a philosophical construct, a vending machine, or an old man in the sky.
Enter the book Attached – Connecting to Our Creator: A Jewish Psychological Approach by Rabbi Yakov Danishefsky who is also an lcsw. This book is breathtaking.
Danishefsky uses his clinical experience, his #Judaic knowledge, his forays into Hasidic thought and his lived experience with depression to craft an uplifting book predicated upon attachment theory. In life, the way we show up in our relationships is often predicated upon the way we experienced attachment from our earliest caregivers. This can get in the way of or enhance the relationship we form with God.
Danishefsky writes in a practical, clear, hands-on style that is relatable to the reader. One example that I loved – he talks about how there are five love languages and sometimes we do something for our partner (like acts of service) that would in no way be of value if it was done for US. We might want words of affirmation instead. Similarly, there are Jewish rituals that have little to no value in our eyes. But if we reframe our thinking to consider that we do this as a way of showing #love for God, that may change our perspective.
This is a deep, thought provoking book that doesn’t assign shame, guilt or blame but rather invites the reader to explore alongside the author. It should be taught in adult education settings. Many people will be able to forge a more meaningful relationship with God because of it.
Buy a copy!