The Gate of Tears | Wilmette, IL

at Congregation Sukkat Shalom
1001 Central Avenue
Wilmette, IL

Sadness and joy can coexist.

That is the message of the sixth book by Dr. Jay Michaelson, The Gate of Tears: Sadness and the Spiritual Path. The book is both a personal chronicle of Dr. Michaelson’s coming to terms with the loss of his mother, and a heartfelt spiritual teaching that pain can be our most valuable teacher.

Drawing on Jay’s fifteen years of teaching in Jewish and Buddhist communities, The Gate of Tears is not a New Age book with easy answers; it is more self-helpless than self-help, and is infused with a contemporary sensibility, skepticism, and, yes, even humor. In person, Jay is known for conveying challenging subjects in an accessible, humorous style, and this conversation (not a reading!) promises to be just that. He makes a strong case for authenticity in a time of superficiality, and as a public figure who regularly appears on national media, he argues for a different kind of leadership, one that embraces vulnerability and affirms our deepest humanity.

Praise for The Gate of Tears
There are two kinds of mystics: those who talk about the mystical and those who speak from and for it. Jay Michaelson is among the latter. Gates of Tears is an invitation to authentic mystical awakening offered by a seeker who dares to be crushed by God that he might be freed for godliness. Don’t just read this book; digest it.
~ Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent

A stunning antidote to the plethora of “get happy” guides, Jay Michaelson reminds us that sadness is as necessary a part of the human condition as joy, and that in embracing both, we experience what it is to be fully alive. Inspired by religion, poetry, and Michaelson’s honest reflections, Gate of Tears, is a book that — in embracing sadness — celebrates life.
~ Rabbi Dan Ain, Director of Tradition and Innovation at 92nd St. Y.