cover image Healing from Despair: Choosing Wholeness in a Broken World

Healing from Despair: Choosing Wholeness in a Broken World

Erica Shapiro Taylor, Elie Kaplan Spitz, . . Jewish Lights, $21.99 (171pp) ISBN 978-1-58023-360-6

A child of Holocaust survivors and former psychiatric patient, Spitz bravely shares his own story, in bits and pieces, in an effort to offer hope and consolation not only to those fighting depression but to their friends and families. Through an in-depth series of biblical examples, Talmudic tales and stories from people in his congregation, Spitz offers a long history of despair through the ages, meant to remind us that we are not alone, suffering is not new and healing is possible. Tools for actively seeking solace round out each chapter, covering everything from perspective and transformation to forgiveness and gratitude. Despite the brave baring of his story, Spitz remains at a distance, almost hidden amid long Torah portions. Though full of useful information, particularly regarding help for those affected by suicide, the narrative disappoints, lacking warmth and accessibility. (Nov.)