To Begin Again: The Journey Toward Comfort, Strength, and Faith in Difficult Times

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9780375400032: To Begin Again: The Journey Toward Comfort, Strength, and Faith in Difficult Times
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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.

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"Then what good is God?" a rape victim asked Rabbi Naomi Levy after Levy said she didn't think preventing tragedies was in God's hands. Levy realizes that the question after a personal tragedy should not be, "Why did this happen?" but rather, "How can I go on?" To Begin Again is a book of comfort and faith to lead us through tragic times. Her advice is wise, gentle, and compassionate, dotted with stories of people Levy knows who have endured terrible pain--and healed. She teaches us to get comfort from asking others for help, letting ourselves cry, seeking a community of faith, studying something new, and keeping memories alive. She shows us how to rebuild our lives by facing the truth, loving and forgiving ourselves, repairing relationships with loved ones, teaching our hearts to remain open, holding onto our faith, and, finally, transforming ourselves.

Levy understands emotional agony firsthand: she lost her beloved father to a robber's gun when she was 15. Levy's message in this beautiful, moving book is, "Each of us possesses the power to overcome the unthinkable and be reborn, to live life not as survivors but as partakers, rejoicers, participants." --Joan Price

From the Publisher:

"For anyone who has ever lost or suffered, Rabbi Levy's words will shine in the dark like a night-light."
--Rachel Naomi Remem, M.D., author of Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal

"Her voice is a voice of clarity, comfort & compassion."
--Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

"A source of great comfort when dealing with the truly big stuff."
--Richard Carlson, author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...and It's All Small Stuff

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