So you have Lubavitcher background! Thats exciting...Ive been running a project for the Antwerp city council a few years back, focusing on interfaith community building and religious diversity. My hometown Antwerp has a real shtetl with dozens of small chassidic branches. I have vivid memories of chassids dancing Simchat Torah in the streets when I was a child. We just thought it looked cool back then ;)
During my work there I got to know Chabad very well, and I really like their incredibly modern and intellectual ways of presenting Kabbalistic Judaism. I regularly read articles from the Chabad website. I even got the opportunity a couple of times to eat Shabbos dinner Friday night at a local Rebbes house. This has been one of the strongest spiritual experiences I have had the last years. I true Chabad style, he was very keen on sharing his views on Shechinah, Tzimtzum, and so on...
I have been exploring mysticism of various traditions since many years and I also believe it is the true heart of religion. I was lucky to grow up attending a Jesuit school where we also learned about Juan de la Cruz, Edith Stein, Meister Eckhart and the likes. My Asian Studies background got me into a rather profound encounter with the mystical dimensions of Islam, and it never stopped since. To me the Quaker path was a everyday practical mysticism, sort of a logical endpoint when I rediscovered my christian roots. I have the feeling I would like to talk on many things with you. Looking forward to it! Thanks for adding me as Friend!
By the way you have a very cute daughter. How old is she? I myself have a 10-month old girl called Mika.
Just wanted to say that I discovered your blog yesterday and really like your writings!
I couldn't help wondering how your background in orthodox judaism relates to your Quaker life?
I myself am a Belgiuan from Antwerp originally, and I have been in close contact with some communities there a few years ago (mostly Chabad, Belzer, and some modern-orthodox).
I've found the book, "Friends in America" by Thomas D. Hamm (Columbia University Press, 2003; ISBN 0231123639) to be useful when sorting out the histories of the various contemporary groups that identify themselves as Quakers.