Undertorah: An Earth-Based Kabbalah of Dreams by Jill Hammer
A radical approach to dreams and dreamwork rooted in our bodies, communities, and ecosystems.
About the Book
Undertorah takes readers on a journey through the root systems of the dreamworld. Drawing on a deep knowledge of ancient Jewish dream practice, world wisdom traditions, and contemporary ecotheology, this hybrid work of mystical scholarship combines personal narrative, multi-voiced oral history, and a somatic alternative to more symbolic methods of dream interpretation. A practical and paradigm-shifting guidebook for individuals and communities, Undertorah offers a transformative approach to contemporary dreamwork, grounded in embodied experience and ancestral wisdom, that connects us to spirit and inspires us to heal our world.
242 Pages | Paperback | 6×8 | ISBN: 978-1-5323-6200-2
About the Author
Rabbi Jill Hammer, PhD, is a scholar, ritualist, poet, midrashist, and dreamworker. She is the Director of Spiritual Education at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic seminary, and cofounder of the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, a program in earth-based, embodied, feminist Jewish spiritual leadership. Her other works include Return to the Place: The Magic, Meditation, and Mystery of Sefer Yetzirah; The Jewish Book of Days: A Companion for All Seasons; and Sisters at Sinai: New Tales of Biblical Women. She and her family live in Manhattan.
Praise for Undertorah
“Undertorah is a dream book for our time and beyond. Rabbi Hammer reveals how dreams can give us healing access to the world of the sacred, not only in our personal lives but in ‘our collective journey as a species and an ecosystem.’ Here is a book that will change the lives of all who read it.”
—Dr. Alicia Ostriker, author of The Volcano and After: Selected and New Poems 2002–2019, Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets (2015–2020), and New York State Poet Laureate (2018–2021)
“Rabbi Jill Hammer has uncovered the soul of our dreaming, that numinous place of learning, experience, and divine wisdom that takes us far beyond the dry symbology of twentieth-century thinking. Undertorah is the tool kit for the new millennium, brought to us in ways that are articulate, grounded, magical and—crucially—accessible to everyone.”
—Manda Scott, Sunday Times bestselling author of Boudica: Dreaming the Eagle and cofounder of the Accidental Gods podcast
“Reading dreams with the depth and precision with which poets read poems and geographers read maps, Jill Hammer’s Undertorah opens doors between realms and teaches us to follow our dreams through them, guiding us from ‘fear, resentment, inhibition, apathy, and regret’ to the place within each of us where we ‘can meet the cosmos that lies beyond our limited consciousness.’”
—Dr. Joy Ladin, award-winning poet and author of The Future is Trying to Tell Us Something and Through the Door of Life
“Rabbi Hammer has opened for us a portal to the dreamworld, a place that holds the beauty and power we need to meet the challenges of our time. Undertorah is an important book for the healing of our individual stories and for the healing of the world we share.”
—Rabbi Shefa Gold, author of The Magic of Hebrew Chant: Healing the Spirit, Transforming the Mind, Deepening Love and Are We There Yet? Travel as a Spiritual Practice
“Undertorah uniquely positions dreams as ‘poems we and the Divine send one another.’ With lucid language and gentle guidance, Hammer masterfully leads us into the depths of our imagination—empowering us to experience the joy, enchantment, and enlightenment dreams can offer.”
—Catherine Shainberg, PhD, author of Kabbalah and the Power of Dreaming, DreamBirth: Transforming the Journey of Childbirth through Imagery, and the forthcoming book, The Kabbalah of Light
“Undertorah is a book that redeems our dreams, gently shifting awareness away from the harsh spotlight of personal psychology, and into the dark, mysterious and permeable underworld of memory, earth, presence, and revelation.”
—Day Schildkret, author of Hello, Goodbye: 75 Rituals for Times of Loss, Celebration, and Change and Morning Altars: A 7-Step Practice to Nourish Your Spirit through Nature, Art, and Ritual
“Jill Hammer’s Undertorah offers traditional Jewish and contemporary techniques for dreaming productively—calling us to experience dreams as meaningful gifts with truly transformative potential.”
—Dr. Vanessa Ochs, author of The Jewish Dream Book and Inventing Jewish Ritual
Undertorah for Dream Circles
Rabbi Hammer writes, “A dream circle is a community whose members share and interpret their dreams—though I prefer the expression ‘reading’ to ‘interpreting,’ as if one were ritually reading a sacred text.”
Undertorah is a powerful guidebook for any group or community hoping to form a dream circle—to read dreams together, and learn from their lessons collectively. If your synagogue, reading group, or organizing team would like to use Undertorah as a resource for communal dreamwork and study, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to discuss available discounts, and would love to hear what happens with your dreaming.
About the Speculative Theology Series
Undertorah is the first title in Ayin’s Speculative Theology book series—a space for work that springs from the depths and margins of human spirituality. Whether emerging from within a particular wisdom tradition or dreaming beyond its current borders, each text is a testament to the impossible art of naming what cannot be fully named: experiences of the divine, the hidden, the infinite. We curate works committed to reimagining ritual, prayer, hermeneutics, mitzvot; to wrestling with faith and its absence; to seeding many possible spiritual futures.