Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan

Jay Michaelson

b. 1971

Biography

Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson is the author of ten books, including two of poetry: Another Word for Sky and Is: Heretical Jewish Blessings and Poems. Other books include Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism and Enlightenment by Trial and Error. His 2011 book, God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality, was an Amazon bestseller and Lambda Literary Award finalist.

Today, Rabbi Michaelson works as a senior editor and podcast host at Ten Percent Happier, a leading meditation platform. He leads the Hazon Jewish meditation retreat, and is authorized to teach in a Theravadan Buddhist lineage. Jay is also a contributing writer to New York magazine, having previously been a columnist at The Daily Beast for eight years and at the Forward for ten years before that. His poems have been anthologized in volumes including Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion, and Spirituality; Best Gay Poetry; and Signs of the Apocalypse/RaptureHe holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence, a PhD in Jewish Thought from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and nondenominational rabbinic ordination.

Current City, State, Country

Montclair, New Jersey, USA

Birth City, State, Country

Manhasset, New York, USA

Published Works

Poetry
Is: Heretical Blessings and Poems (Ben Yehuda Press, 2017) (as “Yaakov Moshe”)
Another Word for Sky: Poems (Lethe Press, 2007)

Prose
The Heresy of Jacob Frank: From Jewish Messianism to Esoteric Myth
(Oxford University Press, 2022)
Enlightenment by Trial and Error: Ten Years on the Slippery Slopes of Postmodern Buddhism, Jewish Spirituality, and Other Mystical Heresies (Ben Yehuda Press, 2019)
The Gate of Tears: Sadness and the Spiritual Path (Ben Yehuda Press, 2015)
Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment (North Atlantic Books, 2013)
God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality (Beacon, 2011)
Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism (Shambhala, 2009).
God in Your Body: Kabbalah, Mindfulness, and Embodied Spiritual Practice (Jewish Lights, 2006)

Current Title

Senior Editor, Ten Percent Happier

Author Site

Education

Ph.D, Jewish Thought, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2013
Rabbinic Ordination, Non-denominational, 2013
M.F.A., Writing, Sarah Lawrence College, 2010
M.A., Comparative Religion, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2001
J.D., Yale Law School, 1997
B.A. Magna Cum Laude, English, Columbia University, 1993

Video Reading

Links to Sample Works

Subject Matter

Genre