About the Book
For most of us, mourning is something to be endured. We are often merely passive spectators of our own pain, and we see our grief period as a grim mountain that we must climb over. But Maurice Lamm tells us it can be much more.Bereavement, he says, can often be an enriching experience, even as it is a sorrowful and often tragic one. Our faith in a higher power can move us to not only live through the present but also to stride into the future with renewed energy and a revitalized outlook on life.In this, his sequel to the best-selling The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning (over 350,000 copies sold), Rabbi Lamm helps mourners not just get through their grief, but also grow through it. He gently steers mourners on the path that allows their sorrow to teach them important lessons about life. And he shows consolers how to listen and speak with their hearts so that they can provide real comfort to others.His marvelous insights on the days of shiva, the year of kaddish, and the lovingkindness of others reveal the richness and true purpose of Jewish mourning rituals and customs. They prepare us to receive consolation and ready us for the journey that will take us beyond grief.His “Words for a Loss When at a Loss for Words” is a treasury of readings for finding and giving comfort by transforming the spiritual ideas of an ancient faith into contemporary language. Here there are stories and fables that illuminate our complicated lives, meditations from the depths of human experience, and a gallery of unforgettable images that speak to our souls during times of loss.Rabbi Lamm’s words will help all who walk the path of grief to find their way to consolation–and then beyond, to an appreciation of the blessings and opportunities that present themselves to us when we confront loss. And they can even take us further, to discover the celebrated Jewish art–of wringing blessing out of tragedy.
2004 National Jewish Book Award Finalist.
I recommend this fascinating book to clergy, chaplains, grief counselors, and mental health professionals of all faiths. In it you will find divine inspiration, human wisdom, and usable tools of the trade.
— Chaplain (Rabbi) Lowell S. Kronick, Associate Director, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, National Chaplain Center
This book is a gold mine for all clergy, professionals and comforters. A tour de force!
— Samuel C. Klagsbrun, MD, Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Psychiatry, Jewish Theological Seminary
Consolation is filled with insights into the grieving process…gathered together with sensitivity, clarity, and the felt weight of experience.
– Jerusalem Post/David Wolpe
Although the subject is grounded in sadness, this is actually a life-affirming book…. Powerful, profound, and written in an accessible style…
– The Jewish Week/Sandee Brawarsky
Elegantly written, this eloquent and poetic book affirms life even as it confronts death. Deeply spiritual, Lamm is a sensitive guide in this painful but ultimately uplifting process.
– Chicago Jewish Star
This gripping book will appeal both to readers who have just lost a loved one, and those who have everlost a loved one…. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has suffered a loss and to those who wish to gain an understanding of the emotions and rituals involved in the Jewish way of grieving.
– Gene B. Kaufman, Executive Director of the Sinai Memorial Chapel, San Francisco/Jewish Book World
Maurice Lamm is the author of many books, including The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning. He is the president of the National Institute for Jewish Hospice, and Professor at Yeshiva University’s Rabbinical Seminary in New York, where he holds the chair in Professional Rabbinics. For years he served as rabbi of Beth Jacob Congregation, Beverly Hills, CA.