Leave your loved ones a legacy of
blessings, wisdom, gratitude and hope.
“Done right, an ethical will is a gift of love, a way of saying, ‘This
is what I found gave me satisfaction and gave my life meaning. It
animated my relationship to you and to your mother (or father).
May it do the same for you. I send this to you with much love.’”
—from the Foreword by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner
Ethical wills are precious spiritual documents, windows into the souls of those
who write them, and are often a treasured part of a family’s history. These “legacy letters” sum up what you have learned in life, and what you want
most for, and from, your loved ones.
This book—a unique combination of “what is” and “how to”—offers a
step-by-step process to help you prepare an ethical will of your own, and provides
a wide range of contemporary ethical wills to help you do it. It reveals
the ongoing relevance of this traditional Jewish practice for people of all faiths,
The emotional power of the nearly one hundred last letters collected here,
written by both famous and ordinary Jewish people, will inspire you to live
more fully now, and to record your own blessings for the generations to come.
“Fascinating reading.... Especially
valuable is the message ... that
these documents continue to have
meaning for modern Jews.”
“Ethical wills remind us of what
are the essentials in life; they
offer a model of how to live.”
—Blu Greenberg, author,
On Women and Judaism
“This remarkable volume will
enrich all those who will read
it and meditate upon its infinite
—Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize
“While the book is written from
a Jewish viewpoint, its principles
can easily be adapted by people
of other faiths.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Extraordinary.... [Readers will] return to their
own lives with a heightened sense of meaning,
purpose and gratitude.”
“Very inspiring and moving....
Sums it all up by providing a
structured but flexible guide to
writing your own ethical will.”
“Perfect, an eclectic mix which will whet
your appetite for more. More importantly,
the included ‘Guide to Writing Your Own
Ethical Will’ will be very helpful.”
—UJF Virginia News
Dr. Nathaniel Stampfer served Spertus Institute for many years as dean,
vice president for academic affairs and professor of Jewish education.
Rabbi Harold S. Kushner is author of the best-selling books When Bad Things
Happen to Good People and Living a Life That Matters.