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To Begin Again: The Journey toward Comfort, Strength, and Faith in Difficult timesby Naomi Levy
Synopses & Reviews
To Begin Again signals the arrival of an important new voice. In words that are as wise as they are comforting and as universal as they are specific, Rabbi Naomi Levy tells us how to survive, emotionally and spiritually, when we feel overwhelmed by grief, loss, or life itself. Her book provides a safe harbor where we can begin to reconstitute our lives.
Where do we find the strength to rebuild our lives after difficult times? Is it possible to recapture our hope? Our innocence? Our faith? The answers, never simple but always inspiring, are indeed found in this wonderful book.
Naomi Levy was a bright, cheerful fifteen-year-old girl who awoke to the devastating news that her father had been shot. His senseless murder shattered her belief in God and left her feeling helpless and full of rage. But, in time, she learned to fight her way through the darkness to conquer her heartbreaking pain. She describes, with humor and extraordinary honesty, how she managed to emerge victorious over sorrow.
Later, in her years as the rabbi of a congregation in Venice, California, Levy quickly learned that her own painful experiences were not unique. Many of her congregants had also suffered--divorce, addiction, rape, loss, illness. They too had searched long and hard for ways to bring joy back into their lives.
A natural and engaging storyteller, Levy weaves together her own story and the struggles of her congregants with the ancient lessons of great sages. She offers up exquisitely simple prayers, which--no matter what our religious beliefs--remind us that we are far, far stronger than we ever imagined. What emerges is a remarkable tapestry that teaches us how to mend our hearts and souls.
To Begin Again is a book that will be passed to friends when tragedy strikes, a book that will rest at our bedside tables during troubling times. It is a testament to the human spirit--to the undying strength that enables us to make our way through whatever darkness we may face and begin living once again.
From the Hardcover edition.
"Words that come from the heart enter the heart, an ancient rabbinic proverb instructs us. The words in this book come from the heart--mine and the hearts of others. I pray that you will find within them a spark that will ignite the flame of hope and the passion for healing that lies within us all."
Naomi Levy was a spirited fifteen-year-old when her father was murdered in a senseless holdup that destroyed not only his life but her trust in a loving God. Healing took a long time, yet from her struggles with grief, anger, and depression, she forged the wisdom that made her, at twenty-six, a beloved rabbi--and now makes her book a miracle of honesty, recovery, and compassion.
Where do we find the strength to meet tragedy? Can we rekindle hope? Innocence? Faith? The answers, illustrated with many moving, true stories drawn from Rabbi Levy's experience and the lives of her congregants, provide sanity, peace, and a safe harbor where we can heal and grow. Remember: "Death is a great tragedy. But to die while we are still living, that is the greatest tragedy of all."
About the Author
Naomi Levy was in the first class to admit women to study for the rabbinate at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and the first female Conservative rabbi to lead a congregation on the West Coast. She lives in Venice, California, with her husband, Robert Eshman, and their children, Adin and Noa.
From the Hardcover edition.
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